The Chinese consul-general who allegedly attacked a protester denied the claims and said his alleged victim had “abused my country, my leadership”.
Senior diplomat Zheng Xiyuan was in the picture pulling Bob Chan’s hair before dragging him into the Chinese consulate in Manchester.
Mr Zheng told Sky News it was his “duty” and that he attended the rally “peacefully”.
What happened outside and within the consulate is now at the center of a diplomatic incident.
The Hong Kong pro-democracy protest started peacefully but banners and posters, which the Chinese side said they found deeply offensive, were torn down by officials including the consul general. cancel.
That leads to a violent clash witnessed Bob Chan being apparently dragged inside the consulate premises and beaten by its staff – leaving him with cuts and bruises all over his body.
But these claims were refuted by Mr. Zheng, who said: “I don’t hit anyone. I don’t let my people hit anyone. In fact, the so-called protesters beat my people.”
However, when asked about the hair-pulling incident, he said: “He (Bob Chan) abused my country, my leader, I think it’s my duty.”
Mr. Zheng added: “I think it was an emergency situation – that guy threatened my colleague’s life, and we tried to get the situation under control. I wanted to separate him from my colleague. – that’s a very important point.”
‘They used very rude words – unacceptable’
When asked why the peaceful protest turned violent, Mr Zheng insisted it was because of the “rude banners” that were on display.
In a letter to Greater Manchester Police, he stated the banners had “a large number of deeply offensive images and slogans”, including a picture of Chinese President Xi Jinping with a noose. around the neck.
Mr. Zheng told Sky News: “I think the most serious reason for this is because they used very rude banners. They used very rude, unacceptable words. People never accept such words.”
“It’s not right to put such banners near my gate. After I politely advised them to remove them, they refused.”
‘I’m under attack’
In his letter, the consul general also said he was disappointed that the police had not been more helpful and claimed one of the protesters had grabbed one of his employees by the neck and “didn’t let go” during the brawl. hit later.
“I have been attacked by protesters and my colleagues are being attacked.
He added several of his employees were injured in the incident, with video showing a man believed to be from the consulate being kicked by protesters while lying on the floor.
“It’s a very serious harassment against me, the consulate and China,” he added.
Protesters were ‘kicked and punched’
The protester at the center of the controversy, Bob Chan, fled Hong Kong for the UK for his safety last March, but explained how he thought he would die in the incident. job.
“I held on to the gate, where I was kicked and punched. I couldn’t hold it for long and ended up being dragged into the consular premises,” he said.
“I’m shocked and traumatized by this unprovoked attack. I’m shocked because I never thought something like this could happen in the UK.”
But it happened here, and now it’s on Secretary of State James Cleverly’s agenda.
The police will decide whether any criminal justice action should be taken – and let the government determine if there are diplomatic consequences.