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China Takes Aim at Hong Kong Academics, cont.

5:22 PM, Jan 12, 2012 • By ELLEN BORK
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Andrew Higgins’s article in today’s Washington Post, “China denounces ‘Hong Konger trend,” follows on the Wall Street Journal Asia’s editorial about Beijing’s attacks on University of Hong Kong professor Robert Chung, whose polling of public opinion shows a marked increase in those identifying as Hong Kong citizens and a corresponding decrease in those expressing a Chinese identity.

Hongkong victoria peak

According to Higgins, Professor Chung’s research has shown that “identification with China increased somewhat after the 1997 handover but began to decline after peaking in 2008 when Beijing hosted the Olympic Games. Just 34 percent of those surveyed last month identified themselves as primarily Chinese, and 63 percent emphasized their Hong Kong identity.”  

Higgins reports that Hao Tiechuan, a mainland official stationed in Hong Kong, called in selected local reporters “and lambasted the study as ‘unscientific’ and ‘illogical,’ saying that because Hong Kong is now part of China, it is wrong to ask residents whether they consider themselves Chinese.”  Hao was probably trying to intimidate the journalists, but at least one local paper, Ming Pao, has suggested that Beijing officials ask themselves why Hong Kong people haven’t embraced a Chinese identity. 

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