The Chinese government has summoned the head of its Consulate General in Manchester and five other diplomats after a protester was beaten on the embassy grounds a few weeks ago.
After the incident in October, London called on the affected staff from the Chinese embassy in the northwest of the English city to waive diplomatic immunity so they could be questioned by the police.
The British government also informed Beijing of the matter through the Chinese embassy in London, giving it until Wednesday to comply with the request.
However, according to the offer made by the British Foreign Office on Wednesday night, Beijing instead invited the six consulate staff home, including Consul General Zheng Shiyuan.
As a precursor to the incident, on October 16, approximately forty pro-democracy protesters in Hong Kong staged a demonstration in front of the Chinese Consulate in Manchester. Several masked men came out of the embassy among the demonstrators, clashed with them, tore their banners, and dragged one of them to the consulate area and started beating them.
Bob Chan, a resident of Hong Kong, who was injured as a result of ill-treatment, was removed from the consulate area by the Manchester Police, who secured the venue for the demonstration.
According to the statement of the Chinese embassy spokesperson, the cause of the incident was that the demonstrators put an offensive montage depicting Chinese President Xi Jinping in front of the consulate, “which is unacceptable and unacceptable in diplomatic representation of any country at any level.”
Based on the footage shot on location, one of the photos depicted the Chinese head of state with a rope around his neck.
British Foreign Secretary James Cleverly, in his text that he sent to the London Parliament on Wednesday, expressed his disappointment that the Manchester consulate staff could not be questioned and brought to justice.
However, Cleverley described it as fitting that “those responsible for the shameful scenes in Manchester” were no longer employed as consular officers in the United Kingdom.
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