“In response to our request, the Chinese government have now removed from the U.K. those officials, including the consul general himself,” 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 expect others to do likewise.”
Mr. Cleverly added that it was “right that the Chinese government have now removed these officials from the U.K.”
After the clash in Manchester, Bob Chan, the pro-democracy protester at the center of the dispute, told British media that, while demonstrating outside the consulate, he was dragged inside its grounds and attacked.
“I held on to the gate, where I was kicked and punched. I could not hold on for long and was eventually pulled into the grounds of the consul. It was then my hair was pulled, and I felt punches and kicks from several men,” Mr. Chan told a news conference, adding that the assault only stopped when a man who turned out to be a uniformed officer from the Greater Manchester Police pulled him outside the gate.
“I never thought that something like this could happen in the U.K.,” he added.
Speaking to Sky News, Mr. Zheng denied beating anybody but, when asked if he pulled Mr. Chan into the consulate by his hair, he accused the protester of abusing his country and leader, adding: “I think it’s my duty.”
In a statement issued on Wednesday by the Inter Parliamentary Alliance on China, an international group of legislators, Mr. Chan said that “while it may have taken two months for this to happen, I believe this is one way of solving this complicated diplomatic problem.”
“I relocated to this country with my family to live freely. What happened on 16 October 2022 was unacceptable and illegal, and the withdrawal of these Chinese diplomats gives me a sense of closure,” he added.