Hong Kong's unofficial referendum on universal suffrage, organized by protest group Occupy Central, ended yesterday. Organizers claimed about 780,000 people voted, but that figure has raised doubt. Tomorrow is July 1, the date when Hong Kong was returned to China 17 years ago. Protest groups called on voters to demonstrate on that day and impose pressure on the central government.
Such demonstrations are legal in Hong Kong. But as opposition groups launched the referendum and the Occupy Central movement, they are dividing this diverse society, which does not fit the interests of most people.
The opposition should be an internal faction of the special administrative region.
But radical forces in the opposition group have been targeting the central government and the Basic Law, which is the wrong approach.
The White Paper issued by the central government recently made clear that the basic political requirement for Hong Kong's chief executive is that they must love both the country and Hong Kong. The opposition has refused to accept this requirement. If the central government makes a compromise, Hong Kong will face huge uncertainties.
The radical opposition groups may know that their demands are unlikely to be met. They seem to be attempting to mobilize all of society into becoming an opposition movement. In both Hong Kong and the Chinese mainland, officials and scholars have called for avoiding confrontation between the two sides. In the mainland, there are no such groups that oppose Hong Kong.
The Hong Kong public should avoid being used by opposition groups which are willing to sacrifice Hong Kong's prosperity for their own interests.
Hong Kong and the mainland have adopted two systems under one country. It's difficult for the two to completely understand each other. But one principle should be clear - sharp political confrontation does nobody any good.
Hong Kong does not have the conditions for political confrontation, but some people have become frenzied. They seem civilized and rational, but their political paranoia is about to light a fuse.
Currently, some people with extreme thoughts have called for Occupy Shenzhen or Occupy Tiananmen. There is no evidence to show such calls were made by Occupy Central protesters, but the Hong Kong public should be able to see how these extreme forces are trying to mess up the country.
Those who hope for a better future for Hong Kong and the whole country should contribute to the healthy political ecology of Hong Kong instead of siding with extremists. Confrontation will not bring about democracy, but will only shake the region's foundation for practicing democracy.
The mainland is willing to see that Hong Kong retains its own political system.
If any Hongkongers insist that the central government is aiming to crack down on freedom of speech and democracy, and that only protests can safeguard Hong Kong's future, they should get rid of such a mentality. Read more in Daily Special: Authorities condemn HK 'referendum' as 'invalid and illegal'