The impulse of the Chinese state media

SHANGHAI: Chinese state media urged authorities on Monday to take a tougher line against protesters in Hong Kong who destroyed state buildings and other buildings over the weekend, saying the violence damaged the city's rule of law.

In an editorial, the state-backed China Daily newspaper criticized the unbridled attacks of naive protesters and added: They are doomed to fail simply because their violence will meet the full weight of the law.

Police fired tear gas at demonstrators dressed in black on Saturday in some of the worst violence in the Asian financial center in weeks, with burning subway stations and shattered buildings, including an American coffee chain.

The last five months of anti-government protests in the former British colony represent the biggest popular challenge for the government of President Xi Jinping since he took over China's leadership at the end of 2012.

Protesters are angry at China's perceived meddling with Hong Kong’s freedoms, including its legal system, since the Asian financial hub returned to Chinese rule in 1997. China denies the accusation.

The widely read Global times tabloid on Sunday condemned the protesters 'actions targeting Xinhua and called for action by Hong Kong' s enforcement agencies.

Due to the symbolic image of Xinhua, the vandalizing of its branch is not only a provocation to the rule of law in Hong Kong, but also to the central government and the Chinese mainland, which is the rioters' main purpose, it said .

On Friday, after a meeting of China's top leadership, a senior Chinese official said it would not tolerate separatism or threats to national security in Hong Kong and would perfect the way it appointed the city's leader.