On Sunday, China’s consul-general and other staff members of the Manchester Consulate in England attacked protesters outside their facility and dragged a man inside their compound so they could beat him. As the situation heated up, China continued its wolf warrior approach and lodged representations to the U.K. to demand the protection of its diplomats.
On Sunday, a group of Hong Kong activists held a peaceful protest outside the Chinese Consulate. In response to their peaceful protest, a group of men, wearing masks, came out of the consulate gate and started beating them. The consulate staff members even dragged one protester inside the consulate grounds to assault him further. U.K. police intervened and pulled the man out.
The victim, Bob Chan, explained, “I was pulled inside and was beaten up.” He had injuries to one of his eyes, and pain in his head and back. He said, “The worst is that near my spine there are some internal injuries and it still hurts when I sit down.”
Scenes of the attack were videotaped and widely viewed online. The British were shocked by the Chinese diplomats’ actions.
British Foreign Secretary James Cleverly told Sky News that the episode was “absolutely unacceptable” as the protests were “peaceful and legal.” James pointed out, “They were on British soil.”
British Foreign Office summoned Chinese charge d’affaires Yang Xiaoguang on Tuesday. “Today we have made our view clear to the Chinese authorities: the right to peaceful protest in the UK must be respected,” said foreign office minister Zac Goldsmith.
China countered toughly.
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin said at the media conference on Wednesday that China lodged representations to the UK. “We hope that the UK will earnestly fulfill its responsibility and take effective measures to strengthen the protection of the premises and staff of Chinese embassy and consulates in the UK,” Wang said.
Zheng Xiyuan, China’s consul-general at Manchester, who was videotaped for coming to the protesters, kicking the banner, and pulling Bob’s hair, told Sky News that he was at the demonstration “peacefully.” “He (Bob Chan) was abusing my country, my leader, I think it’s my duty,” said Zheng.
In a letter sent to Greater Manchester Police, Zheng stated the banners featured a “volume of deeply offensive imagery and slogans,” including a picture of the Chinese president Xi Jinping with a noose around his neck. He also stated that he was disappointed police didn’t do more to help the consulate and claimed his staff were under attack.
1. Radio France International, October 19, 2022
2. Radio Free Asia, October 18, 2022
3. Sky News, October 20, 2022
4. Global Times, October 19, 2022