My impression had always been there were strong pro-China sentiment or attachment in Hong Kong - not necessarily pro-CCP or even pro-PRC for very understandable reasons. That is, until in recent years, particularly during last year's protest/violent movement. I was struck by the raw hatred and vitriolic attacks against anything mainland China. These had gone beyond political/ideological level, but had felt more at the racial/civilizational level. What is ironic is that these kinds of rhetoric and behaviors were displayed more by the very younger generation - generation that has grown up after the handover, whereas in earlier generations you didn't get this kind of feeling.
I suppose It'll take another 25 years effort to "bring back" the future generations.
Yes you're right. There's always been pro-China sentiments in Hong Kong. You're also right this doesn't mean pro-CCP. It could also be pro-KMT. This was the case in the days when Taiwan still professes to be representative of China.
Together these two groups probably made up 80% of the population (My observation when I was a kid growing up in Hong kong).
But now this has been reduced but still substantial size remains. It is certainly not the minority as the MSM trying to portrait.
However, they are silent, in more ways than one. I posted a short video of the clean up of university of Hong Kong not long ago. (There is longer version of the video). This video proves that these people hated what the thugs done to the city. But are afraid to say or do anything because of the threatening behaviour of the thugs. But now with the national security forcing the thugs back into their holes. These people only now feels safe enough to come out to make their feelings known.
So these thugs were exercising the freedom given to them to intimidate and force their will on others. In the process take away everyone else's freedom.
So much for freedom that our friend here keeps harping on about!