China deplores UK response on Manchester Consulate General incident

The Chinese embassy in Britain on Wednesday said that the UK statement concerning the violent disruptive incident against the Chinese Consulate General in Manchester was distorting facts and irresponsible.

The incident, happened on October 16, was a violent disruptive provocation deliberately staged by anti-China elements, the embassy said.

"They illegally intruded into the consulate premises and assaulted consulate officials, thus gravely undermining the safety and dignity of consulate officials. Those perpetrators were doing nothing about exercising the so-called 'freedom of speech' but everything about engaging in violent disruption," the Chinese embassy said in a statement.

It accused the UK government of siding with rioters and pointing fingers at the relevant Chinese consulate officials who were actually the victims while it failed to effectively prevent the intrusion and assault carried out by those rioters and to protect the premises and members of the Chinese Consulate General.

"The UK side shows no respect for justice and the rule of law, and is being most irresponsible and disgraceful," the Chinese embassy said, adding it has launched solemn representations with the UK.

It also urged the UK to live up to its obligations under international law, take all necessary measures to ensure the safety and dignity of the premises and members of the Chinese diplomatic and consular missions.

The UK has asked the Chinese side to wave diplomatic immunity of the relevant officials of the Chinese Consulate General in Manchester so that British police could go ahead with the investigation of the October incident.

Earlier on Wednesday, Britain's Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs James Cleverly said the violence at Chinese consulate in Manchester was unacceptable and revealed that the Chinese Consul General in Manchester is being removed in the fallout – which the Chinese embassy denied.

"The Chinese Consul General in Manchester has completed his term of office and has returned to China upon instruction not long ago. This is a normal rotation of Chinese consular officials," a spokesperson for the Chinese embassy said.