HKU POP SITE releases the latest ratings of the top 10 political figures in Mainland China and Taiwan as well as people's appraisal of past Chinese leadersBack


Press Release on April 4, 2006

 

| Latest Figures | Commentary | News about POP | About HKUPOP |
| Detailed Findings (Rating of the Top Ten Political Figures in Mainland China and Taiwan
Merits and Faults of Past Chinese Leaders
) |

Latest Figures
 

The Public Opinion Programme (POP) at the University of Hong Kong today releases on schedule via the "HKU POP SITE" (http://hkupop.hku.hk) the latest ratings of the top 10 political figures in Mainland China and Taiwan as well as people's appraisal of past Chinese leaders. To facilitate better understanding of our "Top 10" series, while the research method has remained the same, we have also included the following two pieces of supplementary information: (1) The ratings of political figures dropped in the final stage of the rating exercise due to their relatively low recognition rates, provided that they still attain 50% recognition rate; (2) Overall ratings ranked according to results obtained over an extended period of time, which is set at past 24 calendar months for surveys on "top 10 political figures in Mainland China and Taiwan". As a general practice, all figures have been weighted according to provisional figures obtained from the Census and Statistics Department regarding the gender-age distribution of the Hong Kong population in 2005 year-end. Herewith the contact information for the latest survey: 


 Date of survey  Overall sample size   Response rate   Sampling error of percentages* 
 2-8/3/06
(First stage naming survey) 
 1,026   60.4%   +/- 3% 
 13-17/3/06 
(Second stage rating survey)
 1,010   59.4%   +/- 3% 
* Calculated at 95% confidence level using full sample size. "95% confidence level" means that if we were to repeat a certain survey 100 times, using the same questions each time but with different random samples, we would expect 95 times getting a figure within the error margins specified. Questions using only sub-samples would have bigger sample error. Sampling errors of ratings are calculated according to the distribution of the scores collected.
 

The research design of our "Top 10 political figures of Mainland China and Taiwan" has been explained in detail under "Survey Method" in our corresponding web site. The top political figures listed in our latest survey were all those who obtained highest unprompted mentions in our first stage naming survey conducted in early March. In that survey, respondents could name, unaided, up to 10 political figures whom they knew best. Chen Shui-bian, Ma Ying-jeou, Hu Jintao, Wen Jiabao, and Jiang Zemin were mentioned most frequently. Please refer to the relevant table for the rest of the list. The 12 most frequently mentioned political figures were then entered into the second stage of the survey conducted in mid-March, during which respondents were asked to rate each political figure in turn using a 0-100 scale. 0 indicates absolutely no support, 100 indicates absolute support, and 50 means half-half. After calculation, the bottom 2 political figures in terms of recognition rate were dropped; the remaining 10 were then ranked according to their support ratings attained to become the top 10 political figures. For easy reference, the POP Site has already displayed the results of all naming surveys conducted since June 1997. Recent ratings of the top political figures in Mainland China and Taiwan are summarized as follows:

  Date of survey  20-21/9/04   20-22/3/05   15-21/9/05   13-17/3/06   Latest change 
  Sample base  1,051   1,016   1,000   1,010   -- 
  Overall response rate  62.7%   62.7%   61.9%   59.4%   -- 
  Sampling error of ratings (at 95% conf. level)*  +/- 1.8   +/- 1.8   +/- 1.8   +/- 1.8   -- 
  Wen Jiabao  74.4 [2]   71.5 [2]   76.5 [1]   76.0 [1]   -0.5 
  Zhu Rongji  75.4 [1]   75.1 [1]   76.2 [2]   74.7 [2]   -1.5 
  Hu Jintao   71.9 [3]   68.0 [3]   74.3 [3]   73.1 [3]   -1.2 
  Wu Yi  **   **   **   67.9 [4]   -- 
  Jiang Zemin  66.7 [4]   63.1[4]   65.6 [5]   64.2 [5]   -1.4 
  Ma Ying-jeou  64.6 [5]   59.0 [5]   65.4 [6]   64.0 [6]   -1.4 
  Lien Chan  50.3 [6]   48.5 [6]   56.8 [7]   55.3 [7]   -1.5 
  Lu Hsiu-lien  30.4 [9]   28.9 [9]   38.3 [9]   28.8 [8]   -9.5 
  Lee Teng-hui  30.9 [8]   31.4 [8]   37.7 [10]   28.7 [9]   -9.0 
  Chen Shui-bian  30.3 [10]   27.8 [10]   38.9 [8]   25.7 [10]   -13.2 
  Zeng Qinghong  **   **   67.4 [4]   **   -- 
  Li Peng  46.7 [7]   42.2 [7]   **   **   -- 

* "95% confidence level" means that if we were to repeat a certain survey 100 times, using the same questions each time but with different random samples, we would expect 95 times getting a figure within the error margins specified.
** Ratings with recognition rates not reaching top 10 in either stage of survey are not listed.
[ ] Number in square brackets indicates rankings.

Survey conducted in mid-March revealed that, among the ten most well-known political figures in Mainland China and Taiwan, in terms of popularity rating, Wen Jiabao, Zhu Rongji and Hu Jintao were the top 3, attaining 76.0, 74.7 and 73.1 marks respectively. Wu Yi, Jiang Zemin, Ma Ying-jeou and Lien Chan occupied the 4th to 7th ranks, attaining 67.9, 64.2, 64.0 and 55.3 marks correspondingly. The 8th to 10th ranks fell to Lu Hsiu-lien, Lee Teng-hui and Chen Shui-bian, with respective scores of 28.8, 28.7 and 25.7 marks. The mean score obtained by the top 5 political figures was 71.2 marks, while that for the top 10 was 55.8 marks. For this latest survey, Zeng Qinghong and James Soong obtained support ratings of 62.2 and 55.5 marks respectively, but they were dropped due to their relatively low recognition rates. As for the overall ratings ranked according to results obtained over the past 24 calendar months are tabulated as follows:

  Date of survey  20-21/9/04   20-22/3/05   15-21/9/05   13-17/3/06   No. of times on top 10   Average rating*   Overall ranking** 
  Zhu Rongji  75.4   75.1   76.2   74.7   4   75.4   1 
  Wen Jiabao  74.4   71.5   76.5   76.0   4   74.6   2 
  Hu Jintao   71.9   68.0   74.3   73.1   4   71.8   3 
  Jiang Zemin  66.7   63.1   65.6   64.2   4   64.9   4 
  Ma Ying-jeou  64.6   59.0   65.4   64.0   4   63.3   5 
  Lien Chan  50.3   48.5   56.8   55.3   4   52.7   6 
  Lee Teng-hui  30.9   31.4   37.7   28.7   4   32.2   7 
  Lu Hsiu-lien  30.4   28.9   38.3   28.8   4   31.6   8 
  Chen Shui-bian  30.3   27.8   38.9   25.7   4   30.7   9 
  Li Peng  46.7   42.2   --   --   2   44.5   10 
  Wu Yi  --   --   --   67.9   1   67.9   11 
  Zeng Qinghong  --   --   67.4   --   1   67.4   12 

* "Average rating" is the average of all ratings obtained by political figures over the past 24 months.
** "Overall rankings" are first determined by their number of times on top 10, and then their average ratings. 

The overall rankings in the past 24 months showed that nine political figures have been on the list for four times. They are Zhu Rongji in the top rank achieving an average rating of 75.4 marks, Wen Jiabao and Hu Jintao who ranked 2nd and 3rd, attaining 74.6 and 71.8 marks correspondingly, Jiang Zemin, Ma Ying-jeou and Lien Chan who ranked 4th to 6th with respective scores of 64.9, 63.3 and 52.7 marks, while Lee Teng-hui, Lu Hsiu-lien and Chen Shui-bian at the 7th to 9th ranks, attaining 32.2, 31.6 and 30.7 marks correspondingly. Li Peng was listed for two times, Wu Yi and Zeng Qinghong were listed for one time each, and occupied the 10th to 12th ranks. 

As for respondents' appraisals of the merits and faults of past Chinese leaders, POP has been tracking people's appraisal of these leaders since 1995, but our series on Mao Zedong, Zhou Enlai and Chiang Kai Shek stopped in 2003, while that on more recently deceased leaders Zhao Ziyang, Yang Shangkun and Deng Xiaoping continued. The most recent results are summarized as follows:

  Date of survey  14-16/7/03   14-17/3/05   1-7/9/05   13-17/3/06   Latest change 
  Sample base  1,073   1,017   1,007   1,010   -- 
  Overall response rate  69.2%   63.5%   62.0%   59.4%   -- 
  Sampling error of percentages (at 95% conf. level)*  +/- 3%   +/- 3%   +/- 3%   +/- 3%   -- 
  Deng Xiaoping had accrued more merits  70%   76%   78%   75%   -3% 
  Deng Xiaoping had accrued more faults  5%   2%   4%   4%   -- 
  Zhao Ziyang had accrued more merits  --   58%   62%   57%   -5% 
  Zhao Ziyang had accrued more faults  --   3%   4%   3%   -1% 
  Yang Shangkun had accrued more merits  --   12%   20%   17%   -3% 
  Yang Shangkun had accrued more faults  --   13%   18%   15%   -3% 

* "95% confidence level" means that if we were to repeat a certain survey 100 times, using the same questions each time but with different random samples, we would expect 95 times getting a figure within the error margins specified.

According to our latest survey, those considering Deng Xiaoping and Zhao Ziyang have accrued more merits than faults in the development of China accounted for 75% and 57% respectively. For Yang Shangkun, 17% of the respondents thought he has accrued more merits than faults, 15% found more faults than merits in Yang, while 43% of the respondents had no idea.

Commentary

Robert Ting-Yiu Chung, Director of Public Opinion Programme, observed, "The latest findings reveal that Premier Wen Jiabao continues to be the most popular cross-strait political figure among Hong Kong people. Former Premier Zhu Rongji and President Hu Jintao are still at the 2nd and 3rd rank. The ratings of Taiwan President Chen Shui-bian, Former President Lee Teng-hui and Current Vice-President of Taiwan Lu Hsiu-lien have declined sharply. Chen Shui-bian's rating has dropped more than 13 marks compared with that of 6 months ago, to less than 26 marks, which is record low since our survey related to these leaders started in July 1995. Together with our findings released on March 17, that a record high proportion of Hong Kong people opposed to the independence of Taiwan since 1993, our findings today once again indicate Hong Kong people's increasing agreement with the Central Government's position on the Taiwan issue after the handover, as well as their frustration at President Chen Shui-bian's recent speeches and actions. It is also important to note that the ratings of the Current Chairman of Kuomingtang Ma Ying-jeou and its Former Chairman Lien Chan continue to stay at around 65 and 55 marks respectively, showing Hong Kong people's clear preference between the blue and green camps in Taiwan. As for people's appraisals of the merits and faults of past Chinese leaders, when putting our past figures together, Hong Kong people have clearly judged Deng Xiaoping, Zhou Enlai and Zhao Ziyang as having accrued more merits than faults in terms of China's development, while Mao Zedong, Chiang Kai-Shek and Yang Shangkun have been judged as only half and half."

News about POP

POP's normal practice is to release the results of our regular surveys every Tuesday afternoon via our POP Site, except during public holidays, each time with a forecast of the items to be released in the next 7 days. According to schedule, our next release of regular survey findings will be April 11, 2006, Tuesday, between 1pm to 2 pm, when the latest ratings of CE Donald Tsang and the Secretaries of Departments will be released.

Our general practice is to answer all questions on the research design of the surveys published in the POP Site as soon as we receive them, but we will not further comment on the findings. We welcome questions for follow-up purpose, please email them to us at <pop.network@hkupop.hku.hk>. We will keep such an arrangement under constant review, suggestions most welcome. Please note that everything carried in the POP Site does not represent the stand of the University of Hong Kong. Dr Robert Ting-Yiu Chung, Director of POP, is responsible for everything posted herewith, except for column articles which represent the stand of their authors.

Starting this year, we have included a small educational section for the purpose of general civic education, the content of which was based on previous questions and comments we have received from the public. The subject of our education section today is "About HKUPOP".

About HKUPOP

Would HKUPOP's research on Taiwan issues interfere with its internal politics?

Two years after HKUPOP was established, in 1993, we began our regular surveys on Hong Kong people's views on different Taiwan issues. They include: Taiwan independence, Taiwan joining the United Nations, Hong Kong people's trust of the Taiwan government, and people's confidence in cross-strait reunification. By 1996, shortly before Hong Kong's handover, whether "one country, two systems" should be equally applicable to Taiwan or not became a talking point for peoples across the Strait. HKUPOP therefore added it to the pool of tracking questions. In July 1997, HKUPOP expanded its "Top 5 Chinese leaders" rating surveys which dates back to July 1995 to become "Top 10 political figures in Mainland China and Taiwan", in order to further study people's knowledge and opinions on cross-strait issues.

HKUPOP believes that as long as people are concerned with certain issues, and that opinion data arising from such issues are of good reference value, it should spare resources to conduct regular surveys on such issues. This has nothing to do with any political orientation, but is part of opinion researchers' social responsibility. In fact, not mentioning Hong Kong people's positions on patriotic issues and the nature of the Taiwan issue itself, in a modern liberal democratic society, the media and survey organizations regularly examine its own people's opinions and feelings towards other nations and races, beyond geographical and ethnic boundaries. This trend has become more popular under the development of globalization.

For many years, after HKUPOP releases the findings related to Taiwan issues, HKUPOP often receives criticisms possibly from Taiwan internet-users for interfering with the internal affairs of Taiwan. These criticisms, some mild some severe, are really based on the misunderstanding of public opinion research work at large. In fact, quite a number of media and research organizations in Taiwan also conduct surveys on Taiwan people's opinion on Hong Kong and Mainland issues. These are also quite normal and healthy exercises.

| Latest Figures | Commentary | News about POP | About HKUPOP |
| Detailed Findings (Rating of the Top Ten Political Figures in Mainland China and Taiwan
Merits and Faults of Past Chinese Leaders
) |