China DEFENDS ‘regime thugs’ who brutally beat pro-democracy protesters in Hong Kong during demo and blames ‘troublemakers’ for ‘illegally entering’ Chinese consulate in Manchester
- Video footage shows a protester being dragged into the gates of the Chinese consulate
- Police launched an investigation and Sir Iain Duncan Smith called the video “deeply worrying”
- The government must demand an apology from the Chinese ambassador, he said
- The news comes as Xi Jinping opened the 20th CCP Congress on Sunday
China today defended its beating of a Hong Kong pro-democracy protester in Manchester – claiming some had ‘illegally entered’ its consulate.
Police said a group of men came out of the consulate during a peaceful demonstration on Sunday afternoon and dragged one of the protesters into the grounds and assaulted him.
But Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin said on Tuesday that the protesters were to blame and that “violating the peace and dignity of China’s overseas embassies and consulates will not be tolerated”.
“The vandals illegally entered the Chinese Consulate General in Manchester, endangering the security of the premises,” Wang said at a daily press briefing.
Yesterday, the protester’s bloody face was dragged to the ground and beaten by ‘Beijing thugs’.
Video recordings showed Bob Man being dragged inside the gates of the Consulate General of the People’s Republic of China in Rusholme.
The man is forced to the ground and assaulted by at least five men, while a police officer tries to pull the attackers off him.
Hong Kong’s pro-democracy protesters had reportedly staged a peaceful protest outside the consulate in response to the Chinese Communist Party’s 20th National Congress, where President Xi Jinping is widely expected to announce another five years in power.
There are obvious bruises above the protester’s eye as well as a cut below it and a wound on his nose
Video footage showed Bob Man being dragged inside the gates of the Consulate General
Video footage shows what appeared to be a protester being dragged into the gates of the Chinese consulate in Manchester, prompting the British government to investigate
Tory MP Sir Iain Duncan Smith said the video was “deeply worrying” and called on Home Secretary Suella Braverman to “look into this urgently”.
‘The government must demand a full apology from the Chinese ambassador… and demand that those responsible be sent home to China.’
He told Daily Telegraph: ‘I guess the police, like everything else, are endlessly conflicted and probably worried about a diplomatic incident. But this is on British soil, for God’s sake.’
The British officers appeared reluctant to enter the Chinese consulate themselves as they tried to drag the protester away.
Unlike embassies, consulates remain under the jurisdiction of the host country, but are often given special privileges such as immunity from certain laws.
Labor MP for Hornsey and Wood Green Catherine West, who also serves as shadow minister for Asia and the Pacific, said she would raise the issue in parliament ‘quickly’ and called on both the Home and Foreign Secretary to investigate.
MP Andrew Gwynne and local Rusholme councilor Rabnawaz Akbar echoed their colleagues’ message.
“This would be unacceptable on the streets of Hong Kong and against the provisions of the Joint Declaration to uphold democratic rights and freedoms. BUT this is Manchester,’ Gwynne told Manchester Evening News.
The British officers appeared reluctant to enter the Chinese consulate itself, which enjoys special privileges and normally falls outside the jurisdiction of the local police
Demonstrators had put up pro-democracy placards before the brawl took to the streets
‘Officers responded immediately to diffuse the situation and investigations are currently underway to understand the full circumstances. A police patrol plan is in place in the area following this incident.’
The news comes as Xi Jinping opened the 20th CCP Congress on Sunday with warnings that he may use force to retake Taiwan.
The Chinese leader is set to cement his place as the country’s most powerful ruler since Mao Zedong after removing term limits installed by his predecessors to limit the CCP chairman’s power.
The Chinese embassy did not respond to requests for comment.
Chinese President Xi Jinping (center) opened the 20th Congress of China’s ruling Communist Party on Saturday, where he is expected to win a third term and secure his place as the country’s most powerful ruler since Mao Zedong
Xi scrapped presidential term limits in 2018, paving the way for him to break with decades of precedent and rule for a third five-year term or longer
What is the National Congress of the Chinese Communist Party?
The National Congress of the CCP is held every five years and represents the highest body of the ruling Chinese Communist Party that governs China.
The congress is where China’s leadership is decided, and incumbent President Xi Jinping is widely expected to extend his term by at least another five years on Sunday, marking the 20th congress.
Between 1982 and 2018, the Chinese constitution stipulated that the president could not serve more than two consecutive terms.
But Xi did away with presidential term limits in 2018, paving the way for him to break with decades of precedent and rule for a third five-year term or longer.
The twice-yearly congress is expected to reconfirm Xi as party general secretary, China’s most powerful post, as well as chairman of the Central Military Commission.
In the run-up to the congress, the Chinese capital increased security and Covid curbs, while steel mills in nearby Hebei province were instructed to cut operations to improve air quality, an industry source said.
The day after the congress ends, Xi is expected to introduce his new Politburo Standing Committee, a seven-person leadership team.
That will include the person who will replace Li Keqiang as premier when Li steps down from that post in March after serving the maximum two terms.
Video has emerged in recent days of Chinese students protesting Xi Jinping’s abolition of term limits, with critics calling the move undemocratic.