Hong Kong holds local elections. And Beijing is shocked and humiliated by the
results. Welcome back to China Uncensored. I’m Chris Chappell. Hong Kong has been engulfed in protests for
nearly six months now. People are upset about the Chinese Communist
Party for increasingly interfering in their city, and encroaching on their freedoms. They’re also upset about the police tear
gassing people. And beating them up. And spraying them with water cannons. And arresting them. Did I mention the tear gassing? More recently, some of the protesters have
reacted by throwing molotov cocktails and setting
fires to keep the police from… doing all those things to them. Pro-Beijing officials make up the majority
of Hong Kong’s government. And for months, they’ve been demanding that
protesters follow the rule of law. And so on Sunday, Hong Kongers did follow
the rule of law— by voting out hundreds of pro-Beijing officials. Sunday was Hong Kong’s district council
elections. Now these are small local elections, which don’t usually get that many votes. But this year, Hong Kong saw an unprecedented voter turnout
of 71%. It’s the largest voter turnout in any Hong
Kong election, ever. Voters lined up around the block at polling
stations. Wow. Nobody gets this excited about local elections… except Leslie Knope. And even more shocking, Pan-Democrat candidates— who support the protest movement— won 85% of district council seats. For comparison, in the 2015 district council
election, it broke down like this, with Pan-Dems  winning only 126 seats. This year, they won 385 seats. That makes them the majority in 17 out of 18 district councils in Hong
Kong. And Hong Kongers were out on the streets celebrating. Including this nice lady, who was pouring champagne for the crowd. You know what Dom Pérignon tastes like in
a paper cup? It tastes like victory. For months, pro-Beijing newspapers in Hong
Kong and China had claimed that most Hong Kongers supported the police cracking down on protesters, and that those people “are representing
the silent majority.” And for months, Chinese state-run media had called for Hong
Kong’s “silent majority” to not stay silent. Well, they were half right: The “silent majority” *didn’t* stay
silent. They were just wrong about what the silent
majority had to say. Now, these newly elected Hong Kong district
council members won’t get to decide a lot of big picture
things in Hong Kong. They mainly handle local things, like where to put traffic lights and garbage
cans. Next year’s elections for the Legislative
Council will be more meaningful, since those legislators get to pass laws. But these local District Councils do get to
choose about 10% of the representatives who vote for the next Hong Kong chief executive. Even though that system is rigged, so it can
ultimately be controlled by Beijing. Nonetheless, Sunday’s District Council election
results are huge. They’re indisputable proof that the majority
of Hong Kong voters are unhappy with how the government and police have been handling the protests. And Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam understands that voters are upset with the
government. “We were aware of the large number of voters coming out to cast a vote, perhaps not only to select a preferred candidate to sit on the district council, but also to express a view on many issues
in society, including, I will readily accept that, including deficiencies in governance, including unhappiness with the time taken to deal with the current unstable environment.” No. No! They’re not unhappy that you haven’t dealt
with the protesters! They’re unhappy that your government has
refused to listen to the protesters, and instead allowed the police to do the whole
thing with the tear gas, and the beatings, and the water cannons, and the arrests, and the tear gas. The people are unhappy with *you*, Carrie Lam. Even a lot of the pro-establishment politicians don’t like you either, because your handling of the Extradition Bill was what led to six months of protests and their stunning defeat at the polls. Anyway, the election results were not just
a shock to tone-deaf Carrie Lam. They were also a shock to tone-deaf Communist Party officials in Beijing. According to Foreign Policy editor James Palmer, “Beijing genuinely thought they were going
to win big in the elections… to the point of having pre-written the stories.” That’s embarrassing. The Global Times adjusted their coverage to accuse Hong Kong protesters of having a “political agenda.” I mean, that’s…true. Their political agenda was to use the democratic
process to win seats in government. That’s what elections are for. Meanwhile state-run China Daily created this
handy infographic to show how the protesters stopped people
from voting. Which is funny, because Sunday actually had highest voter turnout in Hong
Kong history. Might want to re-think that one, China Daily. Hong Kong-based author of “City on Fire”
Antony Dapiran writes that “Beijing appears to have been
genuinely surprised by this result— and Beijing does not like to be surprised by anything that happens within its borders.” Which is why Beijing is no fun at birthday
parties. Surprise! So will China’s communist leaders look at these District Council election results and engage in genuine self-reflection? Not a chance! As Dapiran writes, “This election result
will not be seen by Beijing as a sign that they need to change tack in
their approach to Hong Kong. It will not be the catalyst for some grand
compromise. It will be seen as a sign that the Hong Kong
people are making the wrong choice, and action needs to be taken to correct them.” Fortunately, Beijing has ways to help correct
people’s wrong thinking. They want to introduce patriotic education
in Hong Kong schools, and a national security law to further restrict
Hong Kongers’ freedom. And if those don’t work, there’s always simply telling the police
to crack down harder. I mean, if savagely beating people doesn’t
make them like you, I don’t know what will. So what do you think about the Hong Kong elections? Leave your comments below. And now it’s time for me to answer a question from a fan who supports China Uncensored through the crowdfunding website Patreon. Your support is important, because everytime I make an episode about
Hong Kong, YouTube instantly demonetizes it. So viewer support is the main way we can pay
our staff, travel to places like Hong Kong, and keep making this show. Here’s today’s question. Adam C. asks “How fast did this get demonetized?” Ah, you’re talking about my video from two
days ago, where I started out talking about pandas, hoping the video wouldn’t get demonetized. Well, it was instantly demonetized. That was a decision made by YouTube’s artificial
intelligence bots. Then I appealed that decision. That was on Friday afternoon. By Saturday evening, about 30 hours later, a human at YouTube had reviewed it, and confirmed that it should *not* have been
demonetized. That’s good news! So by the time the video was finally made
public on Monday, it was, in fact, monetized with ads. But waiting 30 hours to enable ads is a long
time, and we usually don’t get that long. For most of our episodes, we publish them as soon as Seamus is done
editing the video. That means they go public, get instantly demonetized, and then, after an entire day of losing all the revenue, a YouTube human will review it. They usually re-monetize it. Which is to say, YouTube humans are acknowledging that the AI bots are *wrong most of the time*. Sadly, that wrong-ness costs us thousands
of dollars a month! That’s why demonetization— even temporary demonetization— is a huge deal. And that’s also why your support is so important,
Adam. So thank you. Be like Adam, and visit Patreon.com/ChinaUncensored. Support China Uncensored with a dollar or
more per episode. With your support, we can afford to continue covering topics that YouTube’s AI bots demonetize. Thanks for watching China Uncensored. Once again, I’m Chris Chappell. See you next time.