Chinese diplomatic staff were expelled from the UK | Daily News Byte

Chinese diplomatic staff were expelled from the UK

 | Daily News Byte

[ad_1]

Six Chinese diplomatic staff left Britain this week for their alleged role in attacking protesters at the Chinese consulate in Manchester in October.

British MPs and rights defenders welcomed Wednesday’s development, although they criticized 10 Downing Street for not acting sooner.

“Six Chinese consulate officials, including the consul general, are being removed from the UK following an embarrassing incident in October,” British Foreign Secretary James Chaturai announced on Wednesday.

Cleverly added that British authorities had requested a waiver of diplomatic immunity for the consulate officials so they could be questioned by Manchester police in connection with their role in the October 16 violence.

“We all saw the disturbing footage of the incident outside the Chinese consulate in Manchester. … We reported it to the Chinese embassy, ​​and we set a deadline that has expired today, making it clear that we expect them to take action,” Cleverly said. The taped video message was released on Wednesday.

FILE - Hong Kong protester Bob Chan, left, who alleged he was dragged to the Chinese consulate in Manchester and beaten during a demonstration, is pictured with British MP Ian Duncan Smith during a news conference Oct. 19, 2022 in London.

FILE – Hong Kong protester Bob Chan, left, who alleged he was dragged to the Chinese consulate in Manchester and beaten during a demonstration, is pictured with British MP Ian Duncan Smith during a news conference Oct. 19, 2022 in London.

Chinese Consul General Zheng Ziyuan and other men from the consulate were caught on camera taking down banners put up by several dozen protesters. One of the protesters, later identified as Bob Chan, who had traveled to Britain from Hong Kong, was seen being dragged to the consulate and beaten.

“Due to our fear for the man’s safety, officers intervened and removed the victim [Chan] from the grounds of the consulate,” Manchester Police later said in a statement.

Following Chaurai’s announcement, China’s diplomatic mission in London released a statement, citing a Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson as saying that Zheng Ziyuan had “completed his term of office and returned to China on notice a short time ago.” It further states that the UK government “took the side of those violent rioters … and falsely accused the relevant Chinese consulate members who were actually the victims.”

No footage is readily available showing that Chinese consulate staff were victims of the altercation. Meanwhile, Australian media reported that a man from the Chinese consulate in Manchester physically assaulted Taiwanese diplomats in Fuji in 2020.

China also denied wrongdoing in the incident.

While Beijing described Zheng’s departure from Britain as “normal circulation” and asserted that “it is for us to determine the duration of postings of members of the Chinese diplomatic and consular mission,” the British media castigated the forced departure of Zheng and others who were otherwise. Inquiries by British police are “on the run.”

Leading British lawmakers from the Conservative and Labor parties and human rights activists say the departure of Zheng and others should be too soon.

“It should never have taken two months and intense and sustained parliamentary pressure to achieve this result,” Hong Kong Watch co-founder Benedict Rogers wrote in response to VOA’s request for comment from his home in London.

Rogers said he believed the Chinese staff “had been expelled from the UK at a much earlier stage, as video footage of the incident and the consul-general’s own admission, in a television interview, of their involvement in the incident, provided clear evidence.”

He added, “Foreign Secretary James Chaturai’s statement is welcome, and certainly the expulsion of six PRC diplomats from the UK is absolutely right. They are not welcome here and should not be welcome in any democracy. A country that respects fundamental freedoms and the rule of law supports.”

Then-Consul General Zheng, seen in the video in a fancy-looking coat, hat, scarf and face mask, “may have dressed like a gentleman, but he acted like a gangster and a thug,” Rogers added.

On Thursday, cross-party parliamentarians in Britain urged “no further delay and delay” by British authorities in an investigation into inappropriate and illegal behavior by Chinese official representatives stationed in Britain.

Lawmakers from the Conservative and Labor parties said declaring the six people persona non grata was the first step.

Labor Party member Catherine West, who serves as shadow foreign minister for Asia and the Pacific, urged her government to “engage with international partners to prevent similar incidents from happening in New York, Canberra, Amsterdam or Ottawa.”

[ad_2]

Source link