Statement from IPAC UK MPs and Hong Kong protester following withdrawal of Chinese Consul General from Manchester Consulate

December 14, 2022

IPAC members Afzal Khan MP and Rt Hon Sir Iain Duncan Smith MP and Hong Kong pro-democracy activist Bob Chen have welcomed the withdrawal of the Chinese Consul General and other diplomats from the Chinese Consulate in Manchester. The moves came in response to requests from the UK government for Chinese government action following the attack on Bob Chen and other Hong Kong pro-democracy protesters outside the Manchester Consulate in October this year.

Afzal Khan, IPAC member and Labour Shadow Justice Minister and MP for Manchester Gorton, said:

“I am pleased the Government has finally taken action. The behaviour of the Chinese Consul General in my constituency was intolerable, and sent shockwaves through the country and beyond. We are seeing increasing transnational repression from the Chinese Communist Party, and increasing diplomatic hubris. We cannot allow this kind of behaviour to pass with impunity, and so it is right that these violent individuals have returned home. If there is a next time, I hope there won’t be – we should take swift action to show that our country will stand firm against the importing of CCP thuggery.”

Rt Hon Sir Iain Duncan Smith MP, Co-Chair of IPAC, said:

“The flagrant assault on a peaceful democracy campaigner in Manchester needs more than allowing those responsible to leave the UK uncharged and with their heads held high. Letting China take them back isn’t justice. We should have kicked them out weeks ago.”

Bob Chan, the protester dragged into and beaten inside the Manchester Consulate, said:

“It has been two months since I was attacked in Manchester by staff members of the Chinese Consulate.

Today, I hear that some members from that Consulate have been sent back to China. 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.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank the IPAC, especially Afzal Khan MP and Sir Iain Duncan Smith MP for their strong support in the past two months.”

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