A record number of registered voters in the People's Republic of China's (PRC) Special Administrative Region - Hong Kong, went to the polls on Sunday and overwhelmingly, they elected Pan-Democracy members to the City's District Council amid more than six-months of protests - protests, which have been violent at times.
As reported by the South China Morning Post(SCMP), a record 72.1 % of registered electors turned out to vote - a stark increase over the 47%, who voted in similar elections back in 2015.
Of the 452-seats in the local District Council, which has a say in deciding Hong Kong's Chief Executive, Pro-Democracy candidates crushed Pro-Establishment parties by winning 347 of the seats compared to the establishment's 60. Independents, many of whom are Pro-Democratic, won 45-seats. In all, Pan-Democracy candidates won 17 of the 18 district councils in Hong Kong. Pro-Establishment parties, in comparison, won 292-seats back in the 2015 elections.
Current Chief Executive Carrie Lam in a statement addressing the election outcome and cited by the SCMP, realized: "...quite a few (people) are of the view that the results reflect people's dissatisfaction with the current situation and the deep-seated problems in society." She added that government would "listen to the opinions of members of the public humbly and seriously reflect."
Given the lengthy protests in Hong Kong, I submit that the elections results were not any repudiation of China, but an affirmation of the frustration of the people of Hong Kong to their local governance under Carrie Lam.
Beijing has repeatedly aired its support for Lam during the months of protests. Now the election results should be more than sufficient to spur the Communists into the reality that Hong Kong has spoken via the ballot box and that it demands change - not a change to 'one-country, two-systems", but a change to a local governance that would seriously address the concerns of the people and one that would not seek to criminalize the aspirations of young people.
To preserve 'one-country, two-systems', Beijing must now side with the young people of Hong Kong.