Updated: Jul 28, 2020
Image courtesy of the New York Times
Writing by Alice Lu
The Bigger Picture (Kaohsiung) - The power of democracy has finally won in Hong Kong! On November 24th, 2019, the local election in Hong Kong marked a significant moment in history. With a high voter turn-out rate (71%), and of the more than 452 seats being contested by parties, 344 seats went to pro-democracy parties, completely flipping the district councils from pro-China to pro-democracy. Willy Lam, a political analyst in Hong Kong, believes the election was “nothing sort of a revolution” to Hong Kong society.
Image (left) courtesy of the New York Times, image (right) courtesy of AFP
Joshua Wong, a pro-democracy activist who started the well-known umbrella movement in Hong Kong 5 years ago, said on Twitter, “Every way you look at it, this is historic. As our city plummets from being semi-autonomous to semi-authoritarian, we react by showing what’s DEMOCRACY IN ACTION.” Despite being disqualified from the local elections, Joshua was still active in the campaigns by promoting the Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act , which was recently debated and has since been passed in the United States Congress.
Since June 2019, Hong Kong has seen mass protests due to the extradition bill controversy. With all the rallies going on, and after months of increasing unrest, the actions eventually provoked the minds of pro-democratic people around Hong Kong.
So how will election results influence the relationship between Hong Kong and China? With the legislative election coming up next year, having the pro-democracy majority in the District Council creates a massive opportunity for a democratic chief executive being elected.
And keeping in mind that Hong Kong is not the only place that will have an election, countries such as Taiwan and the United States will also be hosting their presidential election at the beginning of 2020. Taiwan, especially, have an important role regarding their connection with China - the candidates will mostly be examined on their standpoints on the cross-strait relations in current days - and the policies they have against the Communist party. People have witnessed the event in Hong Kong that reminds them of the importance of voting and having a good leader that will protect human rights.
With all that being said, the government by people Hong Kong again marked a historical moment in the world, and affecting the people’s view towards China. Will the result from Hong Kong’s election influence the Taiwanese’s willingness to vote in January? We will have to see about that next year.