Diplomatic Briefing

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Newsline: China insists on right to defend consulate after alleged assault in Manchester

China’s Foreign Ministry said Tuesday its diplomatic missions abroad have the right to take measures to maintain security following an incident at the Chinese Consulate in Manchester. “The diplomatic missions of all countries have the right to take necessary measures to maintain the peace and dignity of the premises,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin said in Beijing. He added that the British government should step up protection for Chinese diplomatic posts and personnel in the U.K. Police in the English city of Manchester said a peaceful protest outside the Chinese Consulate on Sunday turned into a “hostile” situation when unidentified men came out of the building, dragged one of the protesters into the consulate grounds and assaulted him. Police said officers had to intervene and remove the man. The man, who is in his 30s, told reporters that he was beaten up when protesters tried to stop the masked men from tearing down their anti-government placards outside the gates of the consulate. Wang Wenbin rejected the accounts of the protester and Manchester police, telling reporters Tuesday that the protester had “illegally entered” the consulate and “jeopardized the security of the Chinese diplomatic premises.” (https://www.boston25news.com/news/china-defends-right/) Britain’s foreign secretary summoned the charge d’affaires at the Chinese embassy in London on Tuesday to express the U.K.’s “deep concern” about the assault allegations and to demand an explanation for the actions of the Chinese consulate staff. Downing Street said the incident was “deeply concerning.” Foreign Office minister Jesse Norman said his department has clearly told the Chinese embassy that “all those on our soil have the right to express their views peacefully without fear of violence.”

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