Protest banners and flags calling for Hong Kong independence were draped in front of the consulate. One poster was an image of Xi standing in front of a mirror wearing nothing but a crown and a pair of boxer shorts – a play on the fable of the emperor’s new clothes.
Xi presents China as mankind’s ‘new choice’ as he prepares for next term
When one of the protesters began to speak, staff in riot gear emerged from the consulate and attempted to confiscate the placard from the protesters, according to a statement from the group. A protester, identified only as Bob by the group, held up the painting as he was dragged into the consulate, where he was beaten by a group of men.
Jimmy Chen, a 19-year-old who was at the gathering, said he saw the protester being dragged through a gate into the consulate, where he was assaulted for about 30 seconds before a British police officer stepped in and dragged him out .
“The event was going quietly until several people in bulletproof vests came out of the consulate and started tearing down the placards,” he said. “Some protesters tried to stop them and were pushed back, so they ended up fighting.”
Video taken at the scene showed the men beating the protester and pinning him to the ground. According to rally organizers after British police stopped the attack They erected a barrier separating the demonstrators from the consulate staff.
The injured protester was taken to a hospital and is in stable condition, the group said. The Chinese consulate in Manchester confirmed the incident to the Washington Post but declined to comment further. The Chinese Embassy in London did not respond to a request for comment.
“If the British police had not intervened today, or if the gathering had taken place in Hong Kong or China, I fear that the peaceful protesters like us already…would have disappeared,” the protester said, according to the group’s statement.
Several British MPs on Monday urged the authorities to investigate the incident. Alicia Kearns, chair of the Foreign Affairs Committee, called for the Chinese ambassador to be summoned and for all consulate officials involved in the beating to be expelled from the country. Former Conservative Party leader Iain Duncan Smith demanded a full apology from the Chinese ambassador.
The CCP will not take to the streets of Britain its beatings on protesters and its denial of freedom of speech.
The Chinese ambassador should be summoned, and if an officer has beaten protesters, they must be expelled or prosecuted. https://t.co/q7Nh55k8fG
— Alicia Kearns, MP for Rutland and Melton (@aliciakearns) October 16, 2022
Xi, who is expected to secure a third term at the party convention that begins Sunday, oversaw a crackdown on Hong Kong’s pro-democracy movement that culminated in a sweeping national security law that has severely curtailed the city’s once-active pro-democracy movement.