The Chinese government ordered the pullout of six diplomats from the United Kingdom two months following an incident at its Manchester consulate that left one Hong Kong protester beaten.
According to a report issued by BBC on Wednesday, none of the six envoys suspected to be involved in the incident agreed to be interviewed regarding the event that took place on October 16. China’s consul-general Zheng Xiyuan, the consulate’s head, denied attacking pro-democracy protester Bob Chan despite being identified in photographs cited by the broadcaster.
Hong Konger Bob Chan was injured in October after being dragged onto consulate grounds, which led to a police investigation into the matter. Per the report, China’s decision to withdraw the diplomats is seen as a de-escalation move since the United Kingdom would’ve likely had to declare them personal non grata, effectively expelling them from the country.