Taipei, Jan. 22 (CNA) A majority of people in Hong Kong believe the "one country, two systems" model is not applicable to Taiwan, according to a survey released Tuesday by the University of Hong Kong.
The poll by the university's Public Opinion Programme conducted earlier this month showed that 59 percent of Hong Kong citizens believed "one country, two systems" is not applicable to Taiwan, up 9 percentage points from the previous poll in August 2018.
It was also the highest since the question was first polled in November 1996, surpassing the previous high of 58.5 percent in March 2015.
Only 29 percent of respondents thought the formula is applicable, down 7 percentage points from the previous poll, and the first time it dipped below 30 percent in the poll's history.
In a speech at the beginning of January, Chinese President Xi Jinping (習近平) reiterated the call for peaceful unification based on a "one country, two systems" model, an appeal that was widely rejected in Taiwan.
Some 53.5 percent of Hong Kong respondents favored Taiwan rejoining the United Nations, down 5.5 percentage points from the previous poll, but still above the 50 percent threshold rarely achieved since the question was first asked in June 1993.
Another 28.6 percent of respondents opposed Taiwan's membership in the U.N., down 0.6 percentage points from August 2018. Opposition has rarely fallen below 30 percent during the poll's history.
When asked whether they were confident in the "ultimate reunification of Taiwan and mainland China," 60.4 percent of Hongkongers said they were not confident, up 4 percentage points, and 27.9 percent were confident, down 7 percentage points.
The net confidence level of minus 32.5 percentage points was the second lowest since the question was first asked in June 1993, trailing only the net confidence level of minus 36.8 percent seen in August 2017.
The poll also found 34.5 percent support for "Taiwan becoming independent," as high as such support has been since 1994, when backing for Taiwan independence reached nearly 40 percent.
The survey on Taiwan issues was conducted Jan. 7-11 among 1,007 people, receiving a valid response rate of 55.6 percent.
The Public Opinion Programme conducts the survey twice a year.