When Leung Chun-ying was elected as the new chief executive of Hong Kong on March 25, it went down as the day Beijing put another nail into the democratic aspirations of this semi-autonomous region of 7.1 million people.

In a society defined by a pro-democracy and pro-Beijing divide, Leung was chosen by a minuscule election committee widely regarded as loyal to the Chinese Community Party. "It was an animal farm election," Michael Chugani, an influential Hong Kong political commentator, told me.