Hong Kong police are now forcefully moving protesters out of major protest camps after a court order to clear certain streets in Mong Kok district, where confrontations between the police and demonstrators have been violent. The protests broke out this fall throughout Hong Kong in response to the National People's Congress Standing Committee’s plan for the 2017 Chief Executive Elections, in which only the candidates with the approval of the Central Government would be allowed to run. The number of protesters has decreased dramatically since September, and recent polls among Cantonese speakers in Hong Kong—conducted by the Chinese Hong Kong University (CUHK) and the University of Hong Kong Public Opinion Programme (HKUPOP)—show that the public in Hong Kong views the “occupy” protests as an ineffective way to achieve changes and wants the demonstrations to end.
A November 5-11 CUHK poll conducted throughout Hong Kong found a slight majority of the public saying that the government needs to make more concrete concessions to “resolve the existing situation” (52% vs. 38% who say it does not need to). A plurality (47%) also thinks that the Legislative Council should reject any draft for the 2017 elections if it forbids people having different political views from the Central Government to stand for the election (36% said it should be approved, and 17% had no view).
But many people in Hong Kong are skeptical that the protests will be effective in bringing about changes. A September HKUPOP poll conducted closer to the start of the protests in September found that 57 percent of the Hong Kong public then said that there was “no chance” that the Occupy Central movement would be able to “change the central government’s stance on Hong Kong’s political reform.” An additional 19 percent said it would be “quite unlikely” and 10 percent said it would be “very unlikely.” Only 5 percent said it was likely at all.
Reflecting this skepticism as well as the frustrations regarding traffic and business disruptions near the protest sites, a large majority of the public now wants the protests to stop. A November 19 HKUPOP poll indicates that two in three Hong Kong residents would like the Hong Kong government to clear the occupied areas now (35% say to clear all them, 6% say to clear some of them, and 24% say to clear occupied areas but open up other areas for occupiers; 27% say to leave them alone). Underscoring this point, solid majorities also describe the occupy protests as bringing “more harm than good” in both the short term (73%) and long term (65%). And finally, eight in ten Hong Kong residents say that the Occupy movement should not continue (79%), while only 14 percent say it should continue. This is a 9 percent increase in desire to end the protests from an earlier HKUPOP poll that was conducted from October 31 to November 10. Of the 79 percent that says that the protests should stop half (53%) say that protesters “should use other ways to fight for universal suffrage.”
But there has been little talk in the Hong Kong press of alternatives to the Occupy Central movement. Running parallel to the decline in tolerance for the protests, the November CUHK poll indicates a general decline in public morale as well. Only a third of the public says they “tend to feel optimistic” about the future development of Hong Kong (34%), down from 46 percent in September when the protests began.
The Chicago Council on Global Affairs highlights critical shifts in American public thinking on US foreign policy through public opinion surveys and research conducted under the Lester Crown Center on US Foreign Policy.
The annual Chicago Council Survey, first conducted in 1974, is a valuable resource for policymakers, academics, media, and the general public. The Council also surveys American leaders in government, business, academia, think tanks, and religious organizations biennially to compare trends in their thinking with overall trends. And collaborating with partner organizations, the survey team periodically conducts parallel surveys of public opinion in other regions of the world to compare with US public opinion.
The Running Numbers blog features regular commentary and analysis from the Council’s public opinion and US foreign policy research team, including a series of flash polls of a select group of foreign policy experts to assess their opinions on critical foreign policy topics driving the news.
At the June 25-26 Bahrain Peace to Prosperity Workshop, Jared Kushner presented the first component of a U.S. peace plan for the Middle East and emphasized the U.S. commitment to the Palestinian people. The stated goal of the Peace to Prosperity plan is “to empower the Palestinian people to build a better future for themselves and their children.” But how does this plan sit with the Palestinian public?
Approval rates for Moon Jae-in are sliding, but his North Korea policy is not one of primary drivers.
In early February 2019, the United States withdrew from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty following President Trump’s October 2018 (and the Obama administration’s July 2014) accusations that Russia was failing to comply with the treaty. Russia withdrew from the treaty the next day.
Findings from a February 2019 Chicago Council on Global Affairs general public survey and a December 2018 Teaching, Research, and International Policy (TRIP) survey of International Relations (IR) scholars around the world illustrate how these different populations perceive the collapse of the INF Treaty.
The foreign policy elite and the general public have long viewed the potential threat of China very differently. That gap may may now be in decline.
Despite expectations for the meeting between Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un, their recent summit in Hanoi ended with no agreement toward denuclearization. With that in mind, we asked our panel of foreign policy experts whether the United States should continue to focus primarily on denuclearization, or shift to arms control and non-proliferation.
The Council’s Lester Crown Center on US Foreign Policy is launching a series of flash polls to share expert insights on policy debates driving today's news.
At a Middle East conference this month in Warsaw, Jared Kushner, President Trump’s son-in-law and Mideast adviser, said that the administration will unveil its much-vaunted Middle East peace plan after the April 9 Israeli elections.
The Trump administration has taken a hard line on China, but has failed to convince the American public or many allies to follow suit. Instead, publics around the world now see the United States as a major threat.
Recent surveys about the political crisis in Nicaragua
President Trump's demand that South Korea dramtically increase its burden sharing is uniting South Korean across the politica and age spectrum.
Publics in South Korea and Japan agree on the problems that need to be resolved, but there's little optimism they can find solutions.
In recent years, partisanship has become a major factor in foreign policy attitudes in the Chicago Council Surveys; not so long ago opinions on foreign policy seemed immune to partisan impulses. Here are seven striking examples from the 2018 Chicago Council Survey.
It's been a busy, eventful year around the world. Throughout 2018, the Council's polling team has captured public and opinion leader attitudes on some of the most pressing foreign policy issues, including US-Russia relations, American views of China, public support for internationalism and trade, and how the rising generation of Millennials think about American foreign policy.
As the House becomes majority Democrat, there is low confidence among the American public for Congress--and several other institutions--to shape policies that benefit the United States.
President Trump pulled the United States out of the original Trans-Pacific Partnership negotiations last year. But a majority of Americans seem to wish he hadn’t done that.