China removes six officials after Manchester consulate incident, UK says

Around a hundred people marched from Downing Street to the Chinese Embassy in London, via Chinatown, in response to the Chinese Consulate incident in Manchester on October 17, 2022, in which a Hong Kong protester was reportedly dragged and beaten by the staff.

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China has removed six officials from Britain who police wanted to question over the treatment of a man who said he was kicked and punched while protesting outside the Chinese consulate in Manchester, British foreign minister James Cleverly said.

Cleverly welcomed the removal of the officials, including the Consul General in Manchester, after he had raised British concern over the incident with Chinese diplomats.

Police had been investigating the alleged assault on a protester who was beaten by several men after being dragged inside the grounds of the consulate in Manchester, northwest England, during a demonstration against President Xi Jinping.

Cleverly had previously said the incident was unacceptable, and summoned a senior Chinese diplomat to raise Britain’s concern in October.

On Wednesday Cleverly told broadcasters that police had requested six Chinese officials waive diplomatic immunity so they could be questioned and the embassy had been informed.

“We set a deadline which expired today, making it clear that we expected them to take action. In response to our request, the Chinese government have now removed from the UK those officials, including the Consul General himself,” Cleverly said.

“This demonstrates that our adherence to the rule of law, the seriousness with which we take (this) instance, has had an effect… it is right that the Chinese government have now removed these officials from the UK.”

The October protest took place on the first day of the twice-a-decade congress of China’s ruling Communist Party in Beijing at which Xi won a third leadership term.

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