Manchester consulate incident.. China withdraws 6 diplomats from Britain

London announced today, Wednesday, that China has withdrawn six of its diplomats in the United Kingdom, including its consul-general in Manchester, after they were accused of assaulting… Hong Kong protester Pro-democracy in the British city.

Leave instead of waiving immunity

British Foreign Secretary James Cleverly said that the six envoys left the United Kingdom instead of waiving diplomatic immunity and submitting to police interrogation over the October incident, after London had set a deadline for that on Wednesday.

criminal investigation

“As part of that investigation, we have asked six Chinese officials to waive their diplomatic immunity so they can be questioned,” Cleverly said Wednesday.

He also noted that the Chinese Embassy in London had been informed of a deadline for them to “take action”.

Hong Kong protester Bob Chan/Reuters

Hong Kong protester Bob Chan/Reuters

“In response to our requests, the Chinese government has now withdrawn these officials from the UK, including the Consul General himself,” Cleverly said.

He added that London’s response reflects “its adherence to the rule of law,” as well as “the seriousness with which we deal with these incidents.”

Tear off stickers

The British Foreign Office summoned the Chinese Chargé d’Affairs, Yang Xiaoguang, to London in October, after the spread of footage supporting the demonstrator’s statements.

Hong Kong protester Bob Chan/Reuters

Hong Kong protester Bob Chan/Reuters

Senior Conservative MPs had accused Consul General Zheng Xuan, a senior Chinese diplomat in the UK, of being at the protest site in Manchester and tearing up posters during the peaceful protest.

It is expected that the isolation of the six Chinese envoys will satisfy the opponents of China in the Conservative Party, who had demanded their expulsion and accused the London government of appeasing Beijing.

Greater Manchester Police have opened a criminal investigation after Hong Kong protester Bob Chan said Chinese diplomats subjected him to “barbaric” treatment by dragging him into their diplomatic compound and assaulting him during a pro-democracy rally in Hong Kong.

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