Chinese diplomats FLEE UK over police probe into consulate demo attack

Chinese diplomats FLEE Britain before they can be questioning by police over pro-democracy protest in Manchester where a demonstrator was ATTACKED

  • Police  wanted to question consul general and five others over October incident
  • James Cleverly said the six have either left the UK already or will do so shortly
  • Demo in Manchester saw Hong Kong protester assaulted by consulate staff 

Six Chinese diplomats have fled the UK before they could be questioned by police investigating a pro-democracy protest outside one of its consulates.

Foreign Secretary James Cleverly said that the Chinese consul general and five of his staff have either left the UK already or are in the process of departing. 

The FCDO had asked Beijing to waive their diplomatic immunity so Greater Manchester Police could interview them about an assault on a Hong Kong protester in the city.

Mr Cleverly said: ”This demonstrates that our adherence to the rule of law, the seriousness with which we take these incidents, has had an effect and we will continue on the world stage and domestically to abide by the rule of law and we expect others to do likewise.’

Foreign Secretary James Cleverly said that the Chinese consul general and five of his staff have either left the UK already or are in the process of departing.

The FCDO had asked Beijing to waive their diplomatic immunity so Greater Manchester Police could interview them about an assault on a Hong Kong protester in the city. Video footage showed what appeared to be a protester being dragged inside Chinese consulate’s gate.

He added: ‘We all saw the disturbing footage of the incident outside the Chinese consulate in Manchester. 

‘In response to that we initiated a process based on our adherence to the rule of law.

‘Greater Manchester Police initiated an investigation, as part of that investigation requested that six Chinese official waived diplomatic immunity so they could be questioned.

‘We informed the Chinese Embassy of that and 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.’

Unlike embassies, consulates remain under the jurisdiction of the host country, but are often afforded special privileges such as immunity from certain laws. 

Video footage showed a protester being dragged inside the gates of the Consulate General of the People’s Republic of China in Rusholme in Octover.

The man was forced to the ground and assaulted by at least five men while a police officer tried to pull the attackers off him.

Hong Kong pro-democracy protesters had organised a peaceful protest outside of the Consulate in response to the 20th National Congress of the Chinese Communist Party, where President Xi Jinping is widely expected to announce another five years in power.

Alicia Kearns MP, chairwoman of the Foreign Affairs Committee, said: ‘The people of Britain rightly expect those who commit crimes on our shores to face the consequences. That is what it means to live in a country with the rule of law.

‘China’s diplomats who attacked protestors have fled the UK like cowards, making clear their guilt and denying justice to those protestors grievously assaulted.

‘The Foreign Office must now declare those who have fled persona non grata, and make clear they are never again welcome in the UK.’

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