Hundreds of thousands of people gathered in Hong Kong on Sunday afternoon to protest against Occupy Central, a movement launched by Hong Kong opposition groups. Prior to the protest over 1.46 million people signed a petition against the Occupy Central campaign, including Hong Kong's first and current chief executives Tung Chee-hwa and Leung Chun-ying.
In June, the Occupy Central group organized a "referendum" on universal suffrage amid disputes with the central government over how Hong Kong will elect its next leader. Drawing hundreds of thousands of participants, it also took the form of street demonstrations on July 1, an event that is seen as being against the central government.
Sunday's protest by the patriotic forces laid bear the true public opinion of Hong Kong. Occupy Central can only represent part of the Hong Kong people.
The street protests of the pro-establishment and opposition groups underline the splits expanding within Hong Kong society and the difficulties Hong Kong will have to face to shape its political future.
Since Hong Kong returned to China in 1997, the mainland people have seen it as an open and tolerant place.
With the implementation of the "one country, two systems," there exist differing political opinions and values.
However, the divergence of views on politics between the mainland and Hong Kong has gradually split Hong Kong society.
Street politics has been viewed as a means to practice democracy, but in different societies, street politics serves different purposes. In the developed democratic countries, demonstrations are not often used for political fights and do little damage to a country's political operation. But in a developing community, it can evolve into a revolution and even topple the existing regime.
In Hong Kong where democracy is supposed to be fully developed, some radicals have resorted to street movements such as Occupy Central to express their opinions and impose their will on the whole society, while others also have had to adopt the same methods to show their anti-Occupy Central stance, which will only make the confrontation forces within society become more split and may lead society to run into chaos. If that happens, Hong Kong will have to suffer the undesired political consequences.