SWS: Support for Hong Kong pro-democracy protests highest among Filipinos aged 18 to 24

Gaea Katreena Cabico - Philstar.com
SWS: Support for Hong Kong pro-democracy protests highest among Filipinos aged 18 to 24
Students (background) take part in a joint 'school human chain rally' as pedestrians walk past in Hong Kong on Sept. 12, 2019.
AFP / Nicolas Asfouri

MANILA, Philippines — Almost half of young Filipino adults expressed support for anti-government Hong Kong demonstrators, a new Social Weather Stations survey suggests.

The December 2019 survey found the opinions of adults Filipinos about the pro-democracy demonstrations that began in the financial hub in June last year are split. 

Of the 1,200 respondents, 33% said they support Hong Kong demonstrators, while 35% said they do not back them. Thirty-two percent are undecided about the subject.

According to the SWS study, the age group that showed the most support to the protests were the young adults aged between 18 and 24 (46%). They were followed by the 55 years old and above (34%), the 45 to 54 year olds (33%), the 35 to 44 year olds (30%) and the 25 to 34 year olds (28%).

Meanwhile, the proportion of those who do not support Hong Kong demonstrators was among those 55 years old and above (38%). They were followed by the 45 to 54 year olds (37%), the 35 to 44 year olds (36%), the 25 and 34 year olds (34%) and the 18 to 24 years old (20%).

The polling firm also found that the support for the pro-democracy protests was highest in Visayas (43%). It was followed by Balance Luzon (33%), Metro Manila (28%) and Mindanao (27%).

Hong Kong protests erupted in June 2019 in opposition to the bill, which has since scrapped, allowing extraditions to mainland China. At the protest movement’s core are high school and university students. 

Anti-government demonstrators are outraged at what they view as China’s meddling in the city’s freedom. Many are also angered by the excessive use of force of police.

The survey was conducted from December 13 to 16. It has sampling error margins of ±3% for national percentages, and ±6% each for Metro Manila, Balance Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao.

Positive image for China

Rights advocacy group Freedom House said in a January report that Beijing’s training for journalists and editors from various countries entice them to positively report on China and the Chinese Communist Party.

“The Chinese government's propaganda and censorship efforts appear to be relatively effective at improving or retaining a positive image for China—and for Xi Jinping personally—in the developing world," Freedom House said.

It added: “Xi was especially well regarded in Russia, the Philippines, Tunisia, Nigeria, and Kenya in 2018, and fewer respondents in those countries acknowledged the Chinese government's poor human rights.”

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