The Atlantic

Hong Kong Doesn’t Have a Pro-China ‘Silent Majority’

Voters overwhelmingly chose pro-democracy candidates in local elections, putting an end to the notion that a large chunk of the population was against months of protests.
Source: Adnan Abidi / Reuters

HONG KONG—For months, members of Hong Kong’s pro-Beijing establishment have spoken of a “silent majority” here. The argument, parroted by government-friendly pundits and talking heads, offered a convenient counter-narrative to months of demonstrations and violent clashes that have ripped through the city: A large portion of the population, the fable went, had grown tired of the protests but remained quiet for fear of being attacked for their unpopular views. On voting day, they would emerge, cast their ballots, and restore an order of normalcy.

That story line, flimsy from the start, has now collapsed entirely.

Voters in Hong Kong’s district-council elections, the city’s only fully democratic contest, delivered a humiliating rebuke of the government. , pro-democracy candidates captured more than 80 percent of the 452 seats in contention and gained control

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