Most people in Hong Kong oppose torch protests

April 18th, 2008 - 3:13 pm ICT by admin  

Hong Kong, April 18 (DPA) Most people in Hong Kong are opposed to anti-China protests when the Olympic torch reaches the city May 2, according to a survey published Friday. Seventy percent believe the relay should not be used to press Beijing on its human rights record and 93.4 percent oppose the worldwide protests that have blighted the overseas torch relay.

Only 4.1 per cent of more than 1,000 people interviewed by the Chinese University in Hong Kong said they supported the protests, which have seen ugly confrontations and scuffles in London and Paris.

The Olympic torch will make its first appearance back on Chinese soil in Hong Kong May 2, the only city in China apart from Macau where demonstrators are free to protest.

Protest groups are already planning to vent their fury against China over the recent troubles in Tibet but the survey suggested they would not have the support of most Hong Kong citizens.

An overwhelming 98.2 percent of survey respondents said they hoped to see a successful torch relay in Hong Kong and half said they hoped to watch the relay through the city.

More than 80 percent said they were opposed to any boycott of the Beijing Olympics because of China’s human rights record while 92.3 percent said it was a time of pride for all Chinese people.

Hong Kong’s Beijing-appointed Chief Executive Donald Tsang is expected to be the first of 120 torchbearers to run in the 33-km relay, which will be marshalled by 3,000 police.

Hong Kong, a former British colony, reverted to Chinese sovereignty in 1997 under a “one country, two systems” arrangement guaranteeing political freedoms and the right to protest.

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