The 2014 Umbrella Movement in Hong Kong succeeded in mobilizing large number of people by demanding democracy which meets “international standards” and by deteriorating “Hong Kong–China conflict”.
However, there is a difference of nature between “international standards” and “Hong Kong–China conflict”. The former represents elitist value and the supporters of the international standards prefer liberal and peaceful activities, while the latter is an issue particular to Hong Kong, and people demanding to solve the issue tends to criticize those westernized elites who are apart from the Hong Kong society. They are Hong Kong nationalists and they accept violent resistance to a certain extent. During the prolonged Umbrella Movement, nationalists criticized liberal leaders of the movement and the dispute split the movement.
After the movement, Liberal members formed “Self-determination groups” who insists that Hong Kong people should determine their own political future through referendum. And nationalists formed “Localist groups” who see Hong Kong people as a nation and expel mainlanders.
Although there exists conflict between the Self-determination groups and the Localist groups, both of them rely on political freedom which enables political activities on the street and rule of law which protects the rights of opposition. Although both political freedom and rule of law in Hong Kong are now under threat to a certain extent, internet freedom and judicial independence is guaranteed so far. When the government tries to infringe on it, both Self-determination groups and Localist groups resist strongly.
And both groups are in opposition to the Chinese central government. Both “democratic self-determination” which liberals demands and “self-determination of nations” which localists demands are not acceptable for the central government. Central government tries to isolate “a very few” pro-independence groups by co-opting democrats and moderate localists. But if the central government take action to expel radicals, they would make an enemy of liberals at the same time.
In the Legislative Council election on 4th Sep. 2016, 6 members of the new political groups (3 candidates from “Self-determination groups” and 3 candidates from “Localist groups”) were successfully elected. Legco may experience a huge change by accepting new members of new generations. But before the election, the Government rejected some candidates whom the Government saw as pro-independent and some newly elected Legco members were disqualified by not swearing allegiance to the PRC. They brought some actions against the Government and the new political groups which arose from street politics are to continue its fight against the Government both in the parliament and court.