The student groups of Occupy Central such as the Hong Kong Federation of Students had planned to hold a "referendum" but suddenly canceled it yesterday. Wang Dan, an activist during the 1989 political incident, openly supported the protesters, while saying that he was not so positive that the campaign would have its demands met. It seems that the Occupy Central movement will continue for some time and the mayhem in Hong Kong will continue.
The Chinese government attaches great importance to the movement, as Beijing holds responsibility for Hong Kong's prosperity and stability. Wherever in China there is mayhem, the central government needs to shoulder the responsibility.
Most Chinese mainlanders don't have to worry about Hong Kong's future. Many mainlanders go to Hong Kong to sightsee and shop because it is a developed society and belongs to China.
However, Hong Kong is now in a mess, thanks to the confrontation with the central government initiated by some forces with the backing of the West. When the central government refuses to accept their demands, they will become a joke. Gradually, the mindset of mainlanders has changed.
The mainland public has a new understanding of Hong Kong through these recent developments. The mainland has previously suffered from the chaos brought by the Cultural Revolution (1966-76) and the 1989 political incident and has gained some immunity to it. Now it is Hong Kong's turn.
The mainland public does not hope for a tumultuous Hong Kong, but people don't fear that Hong Kong may become a mess. Its economic importance to the mainland is not irreplaceable.
Look at how mainland audiences launched a boycott of Hong Kong actor Chapman To. Occupy Central has made the mainlanders realize that social chaos is the root of all evils. In the eyes of many, celebrities who support Occupy Central oppose the country.
Occupy Central has generated an unexpected impact. It has united mainlanders once again. People are more convinced that Western forces are trying to intervene and there are people willing to serve them at the cost of our national interests.
In the mainland, there are some who place high demands on Hong Kong while worrying about it, but at the same time more people feel indifferent. They didn't impose much pressure on the central government to resume order in Hong Kong. But if the chaos in Hong Kong results in the central government losing control over it, the mainland public will never give their consent.
For every day Occupy Central lasts, the bigger loser is Hong Kong society, not Chinese society. If the Occupy Central forces want to confront the central government, they don't have advantages in terms of strength and time. Perhaps it is for mainstream Hong Kong society to decide how long the current turmoil will last.