The remarkable people of Hong Kong — long written off by outsiders as conformists focused on turning a buck — keep confounding the stereotypes. With the weekend’s astonishing local election results, they’ve done it again.

In 2014 the city’s students turned the humble umbrella into a symbol of political dissent; this year, the broader population participated in the biggest protest so far this millennium anywhere in the world, when about two million people turned out to oppose the government’s extradition plan.

In recent weeks, some protesters have turned to forms of violence that have repelled many onlookers — but clearly, the repressive measures unleashed by the authorities are perceived by most Hong Kongers to bear most of the blame for the escalation.

Please click here to read the full “The power of the ballot box” article published at Inside Story, written by Griffith Asia Institute Industry Fellow, Rowan Callick.