Chinese diplomat admits to pulling protester’s hair

A senior Chinese diplomat admitted Wednesday that he pulled the hair of a protester who was assaulted at the consulate general in Manchester.

Consul General Zheng Heiyuan told Sky News that it was his “duty” because the protesters had insulted his country and its leader.

A Chinese expert who spoke to the Epoch Times on Wednesday said he believes Zheng was enraged by aggressive banners displayed by pro-democracy protesters in Hong Kong.

beaten by a caricature

On October 16, Bob Chan, a British (overseas) immigrant from Hong Kong, was dragged onto the consulate grounds by a group of consulate men while participating in a peaceful protest outside the consulate. Rare and beaten.

Zhang said he was trying to stop the men from carrying out large posters that caricatured China’s leader, President Xi Jinping, as an unclothed emperor.

Wearing a mask, hat and scarf, Zheng was filmed kicking and tearing apart two other posters. He then pulled Chan’s hair, apparently trying to drag her out of the gate.

Epoch Times photo
On October 16, 2022, Hong Kongers holding a rally outside the Chinese consulate in Manchester, England, were dragged into the consulate and beaten by staff. (Screenshot from Hong Kong Indigenous Defense Force/Epoch Times)

Chan was then beaten and kicked on the consulate grounds before police rushed to his aid.

Other officers were lined up at the gate, and I heard one officer say he couldn’t get inside.

According to guidance issued by crown public prosecutor’s office (CPS), it is not possible to enter the consulate without the consent of the head of the consulate or the head of the diplomatic mission.

A spokesperson for the protest organizers told The Epoch Times that some of Chan’s hair had been ripped off. He also had swollen eyes and cuts and bruises on his head and body.

During the brawl, a man, believed to be a consulate employee, was filmed lying on the ground and being kicked several times.

Zheng: It’s my duty

before wednesday, widely speculated on social media that Zheng was at the scene, based on the appearance of the masked man that Zheng currently identifies as him.

When asked if he personally pulled Chen’s hair, Chen said. sky news On Wednesday: “Yeah…that’s because he abused my country, my leader. I see that as my mission.”

“Do you pull your hair?” Zheng was asked, to which he replied: [would react in the same way] If faced with such behavior. “

Epoch Times photo
Bruises are seen on the body of Hong Kong pro-democracy protester Bob, who was dragged to the ground and beaten at the Chinese Consulate in Manchester, England, October 16, 2022. (Courtesy: Hong Kong Indigenous Defense Force)

Zheng also said it was an ’emergency’ because the man threatened the life of my colleague. [sic] to control the situation. “

According to an earlier statement by Great Manchester Police, officers “feared for his safety” intervened to remove Chan from the consulate.

“Wolf Warrior” Diplomacy?

In September 2021, President Xi Jinping told members of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) to “give up illusions and dare to fight.” Three months later, he told the Politburo to create a “credible, lovable and respectable” image. Be more aggressive on the world stage.

Foreign Minister Wang Yi has since encouraged diplomats to unleash a “fighting spirit”, while Vice Foreign Minister Ma Zhao Xu said last month that Chinese diplomats should “face the challenge head-on and face the Taiwan issue, Hong Kong, Xinjiang and China.” We will fight resolutely on issues related to Xizang, Maritime, Human Rights, etc. “

June Teufel-Dreyer, a professor of political science at the University of Miami and a senior fellow in the Asia program at the Foreign Policy Institute, said in an interview with the Epoch Times on Wednesday, shortly before Chung’s testimony was released. said of the man’s alleged behavior at the time: Be Zheng was “less than adorable,” referring to his Xi speech a year ago.

Dreyer, however, does not see the incident as an example of so-called wolf-warrior diplomacy.

“Wolf warrior diplomacy is deliberately insulting, and I see this incident more or less spontaneously.

Epoch Times photo
Police officers try to rescue a Hong Kong protester after being beaten at the Chinese Consulate in Manchester, England, October 16, 2022. A still image from a video. (Screenshot via Hong Kong Indigenous Defense Force/Epoch Times)

But two former British diplomats in China believe Mr Zheng’s move was more calculated.

Charles Parton, a senior associate fellow at the Royal United Service Institute, said the beating wasn’t necessarily premeditated, but that the incident, which began when consular officials tried to take the poster by force, was “planned.” It should have been intended,” he said.

“Authorities have to show they’re as enthusiastic as Mustard,” Parton said, suspecting Chung thought it was a good idea to do something about the protests. He said that

“I mean, having them protest with a very disrespectful photo of Xi Jinping outside the consulate is not a good career move without doing anything. Otherwise you will go back to the ministry and be very criticized,” he said.

Roger Garside, an associate fellow at the Henry Jackson Society’s Center for Asian Studies, believes Cheng “wanted to stand out in the eyes of his seniors.”

Garside added that while there may have been a “personal career-oriented element,” Zheng is “fully in line with the guidance from Beijing.”

In a later email to The Epoch Times, Garside said that consular staff “does not respect British law, let alone the right to protest peacefully” and therefore “seized flags and punished protesters.” I have decided to

Asked what the British government should do, Garside said options would need to be considered after the police established the facts, and if it was proven that an individual had committed violence against Chan, they would was declared persona non grata and must be prosecuted if possible.

Parton believes the government may declare the person concerned disrespectful, but doesn’t believe it “necessarily” and the reaction is likely to be “somewhat beyond the norm.” It is claimed that there is

He believes Chinese ambassador Zhen Zeguang should be warned, reminding him of British law.

“If they do it again, we will ask them to back off,” Parton said.

In 1984, diplomatic ties between Britain and Libya were severed for a decade after a Libyan diplomat shot Yvonne Fletcher of the Metropolitan Police.

The Chinese Communist Party ‘has not changed’ since the Cultural Revolution

Both Parton and Garside recalled a similar scene 55 years ago when a brawl broke out between Chinese diplomats and police officers in London.

They also believe that the CCP’s “wolf warrior” diplomacy is not over yet.

Xi Jinping’s recent speech was “full of struggle words,” Parton said.

Garside, who was stationed in Beijing during the Cultural Revolution, considered the Manchester incident particularly “depressing”. Because “55 years after the Cultural Revolution, it shows that the outlook for China’s communist regime has changed little over the past 50 years.”

Epoch Times photo
Members of the Red Guard wave copies of Mao Zedong’s “Little Red Book” during a June 1966 parade in Beijing. (Jean Vincent/AFP via Getty Images)

“It is not a sense of trust. ‘ added.

Garside said it was part of Britain’s efforts to “forge a new relationship with China and build trust and friendship” after former Chinese leader Deng Xiaoping launched an “era of reform”. However, the CCP subsequently “destroyed those efforts and was a harmless partnership policy against suspicion and hostility, a harmless partnership on our part.”

Lily Zhou


Lily Zhou is an Ireland-based reporter focusing on UK news. Lily said she attended the Chinese edition of The Epoch Times for the first time before she focused on the UK in 2020.