Hong Kong’s voters have turned out in record numbers (nearly 3 million, 71%) to deliver a landslide victory for pro-democracy candidates and a stinging rebuke to the government, in district council elections that were widely seen as a proxy referendum on the city’s protest movement.
Hong Kong’s pro-democracy camp has won a majority of seats in the District Council, historically dominated by pro-Beijing camp, the first time it has done so since the 1997 Handover.
The pro-democratic landslide is a defiant rebuke to the government’s frequent argument that its hardline policies had the support of a “silent majority”, who had been cowed by protester violence. In a peaceful vote, the city’s people have spoken.
This is a Golden opportunity for leaders in Beijing – who are behind the government with its prolong confrontation with protesters, to reconsider their approach. Hong Kong’s protests are perhaps the biggest challenge to China’s autocratic president, Xi Jinping, since he took power in 2012.