On the opening day of the CCP’s 20th National Congress, several Hong Kong protesters gathered outside the Chinese Consulate General in Manchester, UK to protest Xi Jinping’s re-election. Then a group of people from the embassy vandalized protest banners and beat protesters.
This attack by the Chinese communist regime was widely condemned in British political circles. Politicians of various parties and pro-democracy activists also reacted strongly. Many MPs have called on British Foreign Secretary James Cleverly to summon the Chinese ambassador and expel the perpetrators.
On the afternoon of October 16, the pro-democracy group “Hong Kong People’s Protection Front” protested at the Chinese Consulate. Their protest items included two banners saying “Heaven Eliminates the CCP,” another scolding Xi Jinping (“贺佢老母”) and a satirical portrait of Xi.
Suddenly, some people wearing masks came out of the consulate, smashing banners and stealing the portrait. When the protesters tried to resist, a scuffle broke out. A video posted by VOA shows a gray-haired man wearing a mask, glasses, and a black hat trampling the banners and tearing them up. A Hong Kong protester was dragged through the consulate gate and beaten by a group of men wearing masks. Then British police stormed the consulate to prevent it. The two sides even struggled to “scramble for people.”
RFA cited sources at the scene as saying that the gray-haired man from the consulate was Zheng Xiyuan, China’s consul general in Manchester. He was also linked to one of the attackers. RFA has sent a letter to the Chinese Consulate General in Manchester to find out what happened, but has yet to receive a reply.
According to the BBC, the beaten man, named Bob, said he was punched and kicked after being dragged into the consulate compound before being rescued by British police and other protesters. A BBC photo shows Bob with bruises below his eyes.
News commentator Qipeng said that the Chinese Consulate had quickly embraced the spirit of the 20th National Congress, which is the spirit of “struggle.” Consul General Zheng Xiyuan is gray-haired man, wearing a black hat in the video.
According to The Epoch Times, the pro-democracy group “Hong Kong People’s Protection Front” said about 60 protesters had gathered outside the Chinese Consulate to protest Xi re-election. The protesters criticized the Chinese Consulate staff for their violent behavior, which has raised concerns among the British and Hong Kong people for their personal safety and raised concerns about the UK’s national security.
A video of the scuffle was shared on the internet by several British lawmakers, who also called for an investigation into the Chinese Consulate employee suspected of being involved in the beating.
Iain Duncan Smith, former Conservative Party leader and British MP, wrote on Twitter, “The UK government must demand a full apology from the Chinese ambassador to the UK and demand those responsible are sent home to China.” He asked Secretary of State for the Home Department Suella Braverman to “urgently investigate this matter.”
Nathan Law, a famous former politician and activist in Hong Kong who came to the UK in 2020, tweeted, “If the consulate staff responsible are not held accountable, Hong Kongers would live in fear of being kidnapped and persecuted. Foreign&Home secretaries must investigate and protect our community and people in the UK.”
After the CCP introduced the so-called national security law in 2020, many Hong Kongers settled in the UK. Many criticize the law as depriving Hong Kong of autonomy and civil liberties, and reinforcing the CCP’s totalitarian rule.
Opposition Minister of the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office MP David Lammy asked British Foreign Secretary James Cleverly to “urgently summon the Chinese Ambassador for an explanation over reports that a pro-democracy protester was allegedly assaulted in the grounds of the Chinese Consulate in Manchester. The quashing of peaceful protest will never be tolerated on our streets.”
Kearns wrote, “The CCP will not import their beating of protesters and denial of free speech to British streets. Chinese ambassador should be summoned & if any official has beaten protesters, they must be expelled or prosecuted.”
Benedict Rogers, a veteran British politician and founder of the NGO Hong Kong Watch, which monitors the conditions of human rights, freedoms, and the rule of law in Hong Kong, wrote, “This appalling act of thuggery by CCP in Manchester cannot go unpunished.”
Lord Alton, member of Parliament for the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland also forwarded the video to British Prime Minister Liz Truss, with a proposal that “(the Prime Minister) needs to make a statement to both Houses about this outrageous assault.”