In September 2008, pandemocrats retained the voters’ support during the Legislative Council election. Beijing’s interferences with the elections, though less blatant than those of 2004, unmistakably cast doubt on its sincerity to implement democracy in Hong Kong by 2020. In 2008, Beijing promoted a new wave of pro-Beijing professionals with a stronger and more independent image. The sudden rise and stunning electoral victories of the Social Democrats, who are hallmarked by civil disobedience on behalf of democratic and social reforms, reflect a deepening sense of public despair about the futility of the current political system, and a proliferating radicalism.

A decade after the handover of their city to China, Hong Kong’s “pandemocrats” remain able to stand their ground at the ballot box.