Police Investigating Hong Kong Protest Incident at UK's PRC Consulate

On Monday, Greater Manchester police launched an investigation after a Hong Kong pro-democracy protester was allegedly beaten on the grounds of the Chinese consulate in Manchester, UK.

Police Investigating Hong Kong Protest Incident at UK's PRC Consulate
Image credit: Matthew Leung/The Chaser News/AFP/Getty Images [via The Guardian]

Facts

  • On Monday, Greater Manchester police launched an investigation after a Hong Kong pro-democracy protester was allegedly beaten on the grounds of the Chinese consulate in Manchester, UK.
  • Speaking to the BBC, the protester said that Chinese "mainlanders" destroyed demonstration posters outside the consulate, adding that "as we tried to stop them, they dragged me inside, they beat me up."
  • The protester, known as "Bob," said he had his hair pulled from his scalp during the attack and was forced to stay in the hospital overnight. Greater Manchester police confirmed officers had witnessed an assault outside the consulate and intervened.
  • A spokesperson of the consulate stated that protesters had "hung an insulting portrait of the Chinese president at the main entrance," but did condemn the assault with "strong indignation and firm opposition."
  • Tory MP and former Conservative party leader Iain Duncan-Smith and shadow foreign secretary David Lammy called for the Chinese ambassador to explain the event, with Lammy stating, "the quashing of peaceful protest will never be tolerated on our streets."
  • A representative of the UK-based charity Hong Kong Watch claimed there is video evidence of the incident and that general consul Zheng Liyuan was personally involved. "Bob" also said he believed Mr. Zheng to have been involved.

Sources CNN, BBC News, Guardian, NY Mag, Ham High, and Telegraph.

Narratives

  • Anti-China narrative, as provided by The Guardian. This abusive incident highlights China's aggressive foreign policy and is consistent with previous behavior by PRC diplomats in recent years. The move, clearly a deliberate provocation to teach protesters "a lesson," is behavior that seems in line with Xi Jinping's vision for his unprecedented third term. Such aggressive and authoritarian behavior is not acceptable in a rules-based order.
  • Pro-China narrative, as provided by CTGN. Hong Kong has long been part of China, and those who believe in its independence must admit the fact that it's politically, economically, and culturally impossible to do so. Protesters should accept this reality so both mainland China and Hong Kong can work toward building their combined future. Outlandish incidents like this one have no place in these efforts.

Predictions