UK-China fallout continues over reports of beating of protester at Chinese Consulate

Britain’s foreign secretary said Wednesday a protester reportedly being dragged onto the grounds of the Chinese Consulate in Manchester and then beaten was “unacceptable.”

"They were on British soil and it is absolutely unacceptable for this kind of behavior,” said James Cleverly.

"My understanding is the Greater Manchester Police will be conducting an investigation into this and when I see the details of that investigation, I'll then decide what more we might need to do on that," he added.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin told reporters: "I want to stress that due to the malicious harassment of lawless elements who illegally entered the Chinese Consulate in Manchester, this resulted in injuries to the Chinese personnel and threat to the security of the Chinese premises.”

"The peace and dignity of Chinese embassies and consulates abroad cannot be violated; we hope that the British side will effectively fulfill its responsibilities and take effective measures to strengthen the protection of premises and personnel of Chinese embassies and consulates in the UK.”

China has lodged representations to the UK, he added.

Yesterday, Cleverly summoned the Chinese ambassador’s deputy to demand an explanation for the scenes outside the consulate.

“Peaceful protest is a fundamental right in Great Britain, and the Chinese government must respect that,” Cleverly said.

Speaking in parliament, Alicia Kearns, head of the Foreign Affairs Select Committee, said: “What we saw was the Chinese consul-general then ripping down posters and peaceful protest.”

She added there was “grievous bodily harm against a Hongkonger, one of whom was hospitalized for taking part in a peaceful protest."

“Some were then dragged onto consulate territory for a further beating by officials who have been recognized to be members of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP),” she continued.

“We cannot allow the CCP to import their beating of protesters, their silencing of free speech, and their failure to allow time and time again protests on British soil. This is a chilling escalation,” she said.

Source: Anadolu Agency