Briefing

Hong Kong is part of China, Beijing says after pro-democracy candidates sweep elections

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A group of opposition parties won 347 of the 452 available seats across 18 district councils, while another 45 went to independents. “It is clear that no matter what happens, Hong Kong is a part of China,” said Foreign Minister Wang Yi, who also warned that attempts to “mess up” the region or “damage its prosperity and stability” would not succeed. (South China Morning Post)

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Talking point: Hong Kong district councillors’ powers are limited to local issues. But pro-democracy parties are using their victory to call for chief executive Carrie Lam’s resignation and for the Chinese government to agree to protesters’ demands, which include universal suffrage and an independent investigation into the police response to the demonstrations. Wang’s comments do not indicate Beijing’s stance is softening. Mainland residents may also be getting delayed news on the election’s outcome—state-run agency Xinhua did not publish results, while the messaging app WeChat has reportedly censored and shut down accounts that post pro-protester messages.