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.
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.
“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.