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Ding Junhui: Chinese snooker star forfeits opening frame for wearing wrong trousers at English Open | Offbeat News

A snooker player was docked the opening frame of a match after he turned up in the wrong outfit for the tournament.

Chinese player Ding Junhui “forgot” about the all-black dress code for the English Open in Brentwood and, after a friend dashed out to buy him a set, he was late for the start and forfeited the first frame.

Ding, 36, was wearing his usual brown snooker suit with bow tie and waistcoat when he arrived for his best-of-seven match against compatriot Ma Hailong on Monday.

Ding told the World Snooker Tour website: “I totally forgot that I needed a black shirt and trousers for this tournament.

“My memory is not good! I didn’t think about it. Once I was playing, I tried to just concentrate on the match.”

After falling behind 3-1, the 14-time ranking event winner made a strong comeback by winning the last three frames.

Ding said: “Luckily Ma’s safety was not that good, and he gave me enough chances to win.”

It’s not the first time a snooker player has had trouble with their clothes during a match.

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In 2022, Judd Trump had to borrow fellow player Xiao Guodong’s waistcoat after his luggage was lost en route to the European Masters in Germany.

Twenty years earlier, Graeme Dott played the first two frames of his China Open match against Darren Morgan minus underpants after oversleeping due to jet-lag following a much-delayed 43-hour journey to Shanghai.

British police forces ‘shot through’ with Chinese surveillance cameras, watchdog warns | UK News

Britain should be more concerned about Chinese-made CCTV cameras on the streets than spy balloons 60,000ft above ground, a watchdog has warned.

New findings from the Biometrics and Surveillance Camera Commissioner (OBSCC) said British police forces are “shot through” with Chinese cameras, drones and other surveillance equipment.

The watchdog’s survey also suggested bodies using the equipment were “generally aware that there are security and ethical concerns about the companies supplying their kit”.

There have been growing concerns in recent days about the threat of Chinese spy balloons after the US shot down four objects flying in its airspace this month, prompting the UK to review its security measures.

Washington declared one of the aircraft as Chinese spyware.

There are now security fears over police using Chinese-made drones.

All police forces across England and Wales, as well as the British Transport Police, the Civil Nuclear Constabulary, Ministry of Defence, and the National Crime Agency (NCA), were asked in June last year about their use and governance of CCTV and other surveillance cameras.

The watchdog said several of the respondents claimed their camera systems use equipment which there had been security or ethical concerns about.

Fraser Sampson, of the OBSCC, said: “It is abundantly clear from this detailed analysis of the survey results that the police estate in the UK is shot through with Chinese surveillance cameras.

“It is also clear that the forces deploying this equipment are generally aware that there are security and ethical concerns about the companies that supply their kit.”

He added: “There has been a lot in the news in recent days about how concerned we should be about Chinese spy balloons 60,000 feet up in the sky.

“I do not understand why we are not at least as concerned about the Chinese cameras six feet above our head in the street and elsewhere…”

Mr Sampson said it should be considered whether it is appropriate for bodies to use equipment made by companies with “such serious questions hanging over them”.

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Mystery surrounds flying objects

Read more:
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The OBSCC said 39 of the 47 bodies and forces contacted for the survey responded, which was “disappointing”.

Around 18 said their external camera systems use equipment that had security or ethical concerns, while at least 24 gave the same response when asked about internal camera systems.

A National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC) spokesman said: “Following government guidance where governmental departments have been instructed to cease the deployment of such equipment around sensitive sites, UK Policing will conduct necessary reviews to ensure national security standards are met.

“Model contractual terms and conditions are widely used across policing, and these include specific provisions for equality, diversity and human rights. These are imposed on contracted suppliers and would be used to enforce any breach of contract.”

The Telegraph also reported that more than two-thirds of drones operated by police forces in the UK are made by a Chinese firm that is blacklisted in the US.

A Home Office source told the newspaper on Tuesday that Home Secretary Suella Braverman had “concerns” about the use of Chinese technology in the UK and would want police to make sure all their data is “secure and not vulnerable to any interference by a foreign state”.

Chinese consulate violence: Police identify ‘number of offences’ during Manchester demonstration | UK News

Police investigating an alleged attack at the Chinese consulate in Manchester have said they have identified a number of offences including assaults and public order offences in their investigation.

On 16 October, a peaceful pro-Hong Kong democracy rally outside the consulate turned violent.

Greater Manchester Police (GMP) is investigating the alleged assault of Bob Chan, after images appeared to show him being dragged into the consulate grounds before being punched and kicked.

Bob Chan Was allegedly assaulted inside the Chinese Consulate in Manchester while conducting a peaceful protest
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Bob Chan was allegedly assaulted inside the Chinese consulate in Manchester while conducting a peaceful protest

He claims he was left with cuts and bruises all over his body, and a senior diplomat was accused of being involved and pulling Mr Chan’s hair.

In a new update, the force said it is continuing to work with detectives to establish the full circumstances of the incident.

Investigators have been gathering a range of evidence including CCTV, police body-worn video, mobile phone footage, and witness statements from as many people involved as possible to assist in capturing a rounded understanding of what happened.

The force added that the number of offences identified includes assaults and public order offences that “concern events that left a man in his 30s with several minor physical injuries after being allegedly assaulted in the consulate grounds”.

Police said the alleged attack followed an initially peaceful protest that appeared to escalate, and they are looking to find out why.

Read more:
‘I was thinking I might die’: Hong Kong pro-democracy protester on Chinese consulate attack
Chinese consul-general defends actions after being seen pulling protester’s hair in Manchester

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Chinese consulate: What happened?

Assistant Chief Constable Chris Sykes described the investigation as “a complex inquiry”.

He continued: “We’re continuing to gain a clearer understanding of the timeline of events that led to an initially peaceful protest escalating in the way it did. This has seen us identify a number of offences and potential suspects and victims.

“This is a sensitive but, importantly, objective investigation that will involve us working for as long as required to speak to all those concerned to achieve as many answers as we possibly can, and we will continue to provide updates where necessary in due course.”

Police said no other injuries were reported to them besides a minor physical injury to the hand of an officer who intervened to help remove the man in his 30s from the consulate grounds out of fear for his safety.

The force added it is actively seeking other potential victims of incidents during the disturbance.

No arrests have yet been made and enquiries continue.

Chinese embassy issues trade threat to UK over Manchester consulate beating | Politics News

The Chinese Embassy in London has warned protecting Hong Kong protesters will “bring disaster to Britain” after a man was beaten up inside China’s Manchester consulate.

In a video released by the embassy on Thursday, a spokesman made the most direct trade threat to the UK since footage showed Hong Kong protester Bob Chan being pulled inside the Manchester consulate grounds and beaten up by its staff on 16 October.

The consul-general was spotted pulling Mr Chan’s hair and told Sky News last week it was his “duty” as he said Mr Chan was “abusing my country, my leader”.

Thursday’s clip was entitled: “Online press conference on the violent harassment of the Chinese consulate general in Manchester.”

There was no media present and no questions were taken.

The video has been met with indignation by MPs and human rights campaigners in the UK.

In it, the spokesman warned: “Providing shelter to the Hong Kong independent elements will only, in the end, bring disaster to Britain.”

He said he wanted to “remind” people of the Aesop’s Fable about the farmer and the snake “where the farmer showed sympathy to the snake but finally got bitten by the snake”.

He spoke at length about how much the UK relies on China as its third-largest trading partner and “number one source of imports”.

“British exports to China also increased sharply so we see this relationship to be win-win and mutually beneficial,” he said.

“China attaches great importance to the relationship with the UK and we are willing to develop further co-operation with the UK on the basis of mutual respect, equality and mutual benefit.

“This is good for both sides and good for the world.”

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Chinese consulate: What happened?

He added that a “few” people with “selfish motivations” are trying to provoke confrontation between China and the UK which “is dangerous and bad for both sides”, he said.

Alicia Kearns, the new chair of the foreign affairs committee, said the threats were sadly to be expected from China.

“The lack of contrition from CCP (the Chinese Communist Party) over what was a shocking assault is concerning, if not wholly surprising,” she said.

“It is, sadly, consistent with Beijing’s aggressive foreign policy under Xi and why we have seen diplomatic relations with China become increasingly strained across the world.”

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Protester on ‘assault’ at China consulate in Manchester

Human rights campaigner Luke de Pulford, executive director of the Inter-Parliamentary Alliance on China, said the UK government needs to stamp down on China’s trade threats and human rights abuses.

He told Sky News: “What looks more like a snake?

“Hong Kongers who have been forced out of their homes for standing up for democracy, or the Chinese Communist Party which metes out genocide, tears up treaties, whose diplomats beat up protesters, and which operates illegal police stations to persecute dissidents?

“I know which I’d prefer, and the government needs to make plain their displeasure at China’s brazen hubris now.”

The government, under Liz Truss, has said it will wait until a police investigation into the Manchester consulate incident concludes before deciding what to do with those staff involved.

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‘My duty’ to pull protester’s hair

Rishi Sunak, who took over as PM on Tuesday, has not yet made a comment about the incident.

It is understood that the government are awaiting details of the police investigation but that the ambassador has delivered a clear message to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Beijing about the depth of ministers’ concern.

Other MPs, both Tory and Labour, have called for the consul general involved in the attack to be sent straight back to China.

Conservative MP Sir Iain Duncan Smith, who is sanctioned by China, said any Chinese consulate staff involved in the attack should be expelled, made to apologise and made persona non grata.

He said it should be a political decision and the government should not wait for the police investigation to finish as there is video evidence, some which was put out by the Chinese embassy.

Chinese consulate claims diplomat was ‘choked’ by protester at Manchester demonstration | UK News

A staff member at the Chinese consulate in Manchester has claimed he was “choked” by a protester who “posed a severe threat” to his life when disorder broke out during a demonstration outside the building. 

Speaking at a media conference hosted by the consulate and the Chinese embassy in the UK, consul Gao Lianjia claimed he was attacked by a man wearing a black combat glove on his left hand.

In his statement, he said: “I was standing close to the front gate when all of a sudden the protester knocked me down by running against my belly.

“He then knocked off my eyeglasses and attacked me on the face.

“In a split second, he grabbed my collars tightly and knelt forcefully on my body with my back on the ground. I struggled, but to no avail. I had difficulty breathing and lost consciousness.

“When I came back to life, I saw the attacker being taken out of the compound by the police.”

Gao Lianjia also said he had been left with injuries to his forehead and right knee, as well as a concussion, dizziness, numbness in his head and pain below the ribs.

His remarks come just over a week after the scenes at a pro-Hong Kong democracy rally outside the consulate on 16 October.

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What really happened at the Chinese consulate?

Greater Manchester Police (GMP) are investigating the alleged assault of Bob Chan, a man who was pictured being dragged into the consulate grounds, before being punched and kicked.

He says he was left with cuts and bruises all over his body.

A senior diplomat accused of being involved and pulling Mr Chan’s hair also spoke at the media conference, but refused to comment specifically on the incident.

Instead, Zheng Xiyuan, the consul-general, criticised the way the police and British government responded to the incident.

Protester Bob Chan says he was left him with cuts and bruises all over his body. Pic: AP
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Bob Chan says he was left with cuts and bruises all over his body. Pic: AP

“We hoped the police would step in to support us, but they didn’t do so,” he said.

“It was under such a circumstance that in order to safeguard our country’s dignity, we took action.”

Zheng Xiyuan also showed journalists videos that he said prove protesters attacked consulate staff, including clips that involved them “knocking down staff, then running away,” and one protester “seizing a member of staff, without letting him go”.

When asked if he had shared this footage as well as the consul’s assault allegations with police, he failed to answer, calling it a “very special legal matter”.

A consulate source later told Sky News that they were seeking advice from lawyers.

GMP said it was still in the process of “gathering, reviewing and assessing evidence from a variety of sources” and will not be commenting further at this time.

Chinese consul-general defends actions after being seen pulling protester’s hair in Manchester | UK News

The Chinese consul-general accused of attacking a protester has denied the claims and said his alleged victim was “abusing my country, my leader”.

Senior diplomat Zheng Xiyuan was pictured pulling Bob Chan’s hair before yanking him into the Chinese consulate in Manchester.

Mr Zheng told Sky News that it was his “duty” and he was at the demonstration “peacefully”.

Chinese consul-general Zheng Xiyuan was seen pulling a protester's hair
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Chinese consul-general Zheng Xiyuan was seen pulling a protester’s hair

What happened outside and on the grounds of the consulate is now the centre of a diplomatic incident.

The pro-democracy protest by Hong Kongers started off peacefully but banners and posters, which the Chinese say they found deeply offensive, were torn down by officials including the consul-general.

That led to a violent clash which saw Bob Chan apparently dragged into the consulate grounds and beaten by its staff – leaving him with cuts and bruises all over his body.

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Protester on ‘assault’ at China consulate in Manchester

But these claims have been refuted by Mr Zheng, who said: “I didn’t beat anybody. I didn’t let my people beat anybody. The fact is, the so-called protesters beat my people.”

However, when asked about the hair-pulling incident, he said: “He (Bob Chan) was abusing my country my leader, I think it’s my duty.”

Mr Zheng added: “I think it’s an emergency situation – that guy threatened my colleague’s life, and we tried to control the situation. I wanted to separate him from my colleagues – that’s a very critical point.”

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Moment protester was beaten at Chinese consulate

‘They used very rude words – unacceptable’

Asked why the peaceful demonstration turned violent, Mr Zheng claimed it was because of the “rude banners” that had been put on display.

In a letter sent to Greater Manchester Police, he stated the banners featured a “volume of deeply offensive imagery and slogans”, including a picture of the Chinese president Xi Jinping with a noose around his neck.

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“I think the most serious reason for this incident is because they used very rude banners. They used very rude words, unacceptable. Everybody never accepts these kinds of words,” Mr Zheng told Sky News.

“It’s not right to put such banners close to my gate. After I advised them to remove very politely, they refused.”

The Chinese consulate in Manchester where police are investigating an assault on a Hong Kong pro-democracy protester who had to be rescued by officers after being dragged into the grounds and beaten on Sunday October 16. Picture date: Monday October 17, 2022.
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The Chinese consulate in Manchester where police are investigating an assault on a Hong Kong pro-democracy protester

‘I was under attack’

In his letter, the consul-general also said he was disappointed police didn’t do more to help and claimed one of the protesters grabbed a member of his staff “by the neck and refused to let go” during the ensuing scuffle.

“I was under attack by the protesters and my colleagues were under attack and at that time, we didn’t receive any protection from the policeman, so we had to do something to protect ourselves,” Mr Zheng said.

He added some of his staff were injured during the incident, with video footage showing a man allegedly from the consulate being kicked by protesters whilst on the floor.

“It’s a very serious harassment for me, the consulate and China,” he added.

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Protester beaten at Chinese consulate

Protester was ‘kicked and punched’

The protester at the centre of the controversy, Bob Chan, fled Hong Kong to the UK for his safety last March, but explained how he thought he was going to die during the incident.

“I held onto the gate where I was kicked and punched. I could not hold on for long and was eventually pulled into the grounds of the consulate,” he said.

“I’m shocked and hurt by this unprovoked attack. I’m shocked because I never thought something like this could happen in the UK.”

But it did happen here, and it’s now an issue on the agenda of the foreign secretary, James Cleverly.

It’ll be down to police to decide if any criminal justice action is needed – and for the government to determine whether there are diplomatic consequences.