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Intensifying violence in Hong Kong calls for tougher line to restore order: China Daily editorial

chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2019-11-03 21:04

Rioters attack police officers with petrol bombs in downtown Hong Kong, Nov 2, 2019. [Photo/Xinhua]

Radical protesters in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region went on the rampage again on the weekend, blocking thoroughfares, vandalizing shops and buildings, setting fire to subway stations, beating up passers-by, planting nails on roads, and attacking police officers with petrol bombs, bricks and other objects.

Such acts, which serve no other purpose than to vent the anger of some young people at grievances real and imagined and give them a frission of daredeviled lawbreaking, have seemingly become weekend amusement for some in Hong Kong.

As has now become the norm, businesses affiliated with the mainland are considered fair game for vandalism, presumably under the mistaken belief that is less harmful to the rioters' livelihoods and will have less public blowback. This time Xinhua News Agency's Asia-Pacific Regional Bureau office building in Wan Chai was targeted by the rioters, who destroyed the building's security facilities, spray-painted insulting words on the walls and smashed the front gate and some of its windows before throwing firebombs and paint bombs into the lobby.

Saturday's assault on the Xinhua News Agency offices and the previous verbal and physical attacks on journalists and reporting crews from other news outlets such as TVB and Taikungpao are strategically consistent. The radical protesters have been trying hard to convince the world they are championing a noble cause in a peaceful manner rather than engaging in wanton violence. To this end, they court the indulgence extended to them by friendly local and Western media outlets, while seeking to silence those trying to put the protests in the spotlight of truth — revealing them to be nothing more than adolescent hormones pumped up and primed by those willing to exploit them for their own purposes.

On Saturday afternoon, a number of rioters destroyed Xinhua Asia-Pacific Regional Bureau office building's security facilities, spray-painted insulting words on the walls and smashed the front gate and some of its windows. [Photo/Xinhua]

Any media outlets or individual journalists who adhere to professionalism and tell the world the truth about Hong Kong's so-called uprising, who refuse to glorify anarchism or the demonizing of the Hong Kong police have automatically become a thorn in the flesh of the radicals and a target for their vigilante retribution.

The black-clad rioters' obsession with umbrellas and masks is an extension of their strategy to hide their shocking criminal acts and the truth about their violent campaign. But they are naïve to think that they can fool the world and win the support they want with such clumsy tactics. They are doomed to fail simply because their violence will encounter the full weight of the law.

The central authorities indicated on Friday that they intend to establish and strengthen the legal system and enforcement mechanism in the SAR to safeguard social order and national security. Those Hong Kong residents whose lives have been disrupted by the intensifying violence of intimidation — instigated and organized by those hoping to use Hong Kong as a means to destabilize the nation — will be glad when life returns to normal.

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