China State Councillor Wang Yi (left) and Japan Foreign Minister Toshimitsu Motegi after meeting on Monday.
Speaking to the South China Morning Post, pro-Beijing lawmaker Michael Tien Puk-su, who lost his seat at the Tsuen Wan District Council, said that while he gained the same number of votes as in the previous elections, it was not enough this time - all because of the first-time voters, he suspected.
"It's nothing short of a revolution", said Willy Lam, a political expert at the Chinese University of Hong Kong.
Any attempt to mess up Hong Kong, or even damage its prosperity and stability, will not succeed.
But it does not mean Beijing - which blames foreign powers for fomenting the unrest in the former British colony, which was returned to China in 1997 - will budge on the demonstrators' demands, he added.
Although district councilors hold little regional political power and tend to deal with local issues such as bus routes, the election was widely seen as a referendum on Hong Kong's pro-China Chief Executive Carrie Lam after months of unrest, protests, and violent attacks on unarmed protesters by pro-communist thugs. The latest elections were for the territory's 18 district councils, the territory's local government.
"It is hoped that the pro-establishment groups in Hong Kong will not be discouraged, and Hongkongers who love the country and the city will not be disheartened after the district council elections".
Millions of Hongkongers stood in lines stretching for blocks throughout November 24 to cast their vote in the city's district council elections, which is widely seen as a test of support for the government amid a months-long pro-democracy movement that has racked the city.
Election authorities also banned leading democracy activist Joshua Wong from running, over his support for Hong Kong "self-determination".
"I'm exhausted, but I think it's more important to fight", said Elvis Yam, who waited in line for an hour to vote in the morning and then volunteered to hold a campaign sign for a pro-democracy candidate in the University District.
"The Chinese government is unswervingly determined to safeguard national sovereignty, and to oppose any interference in Hong Kong affairs by external forces".
A local candidate looks at officials counting votes at a polling station in Kowloon Tong, Hong Kong, on Thursday.
As the vote counts in Hong Kong were still proceeding right through midnight, ST was unable to report the final poll outcome. Pro-democracy rally organizer Jimmy Sham, who was beaten by hammer-wielding assailants last month, also triumphed, as did a pro-democracy lawmaker who had part of his ear bitten off by an assailant.
Celebrations broke out outside polling stations overnight when results were announced. A woman popped a champagne bottle and poured drinks for everyone.
Many winning candidates had actively participated in protests, which left establishment candidates reeling.
"This is historic. As our city plummets from being semi-autonomous to semi-authoritarian, we react by showing what's democracy in action", Wong tweeted. Tensions between protesters and the Hong Kong government and police have escalated amid mounting allegations of police brutality against protesters.
"We have our point of view, we have our demand, but we are not willing to see Hong Kong in turmoil", said Kim Wah Chung, a commentator and assistant professor at Hong Kong Polytechnic University. "Confrontations may intensify", warned political analyst Lam.
On the other hand, pro-Beijing figures gained just 58 seats.
Police have at times used live rounds, wounding several protesters. "In the future, they should strengthen youth outreach efforts, and effectively respond to their demands, as it would bring hope to Hong Kong's future".