Violence against pro-democracy supporters in London could be ’10 times worse’, one community leader fears, as political tensions between recent Hong Kong arrivals and Chinese expat community escalate is doing.
In a letter to Hong Kong community leaders, Debbie Weeks-Bernard said she was “disturbed by the violent scenes in Manchester”. Pro-democracy activist Bob Chan He was allegedly attacked on the consulate grounds on October 16.
The incident is being investigated by Manchester police, who said a man in his 30s suffered minor injuries in the alleged assault.
Manchester Police said in a statement on Monday: “We are conducting a wide-ranging investigation, including investigating why the peaceful protests appeared to have escalated at first.
“So far, we have identified a number of crimes, including assaults and violations of public order.”
No one has been arrested and an investigation continues, including collecting various pieces of evidence, including CCTV, police body-worn video, cell phone footage, and eyewitness testimony.
In a letter to the Joint Steering Group earlier this month, Weeks-Bernard said: “We understand how these events threaten the security of Londoners in Hong Kong and make them reluctant to exercise their freedom of speech. I am sorry,” he said.
“The Mayor and I are committed to ensuring that London is a safe place for Hong Kongers, a place where new arrivals from Hong Kong are fully supported to settle and build a sense of belonging in their communities. We promise to work with you.”
Over 35,000 Hong Kongers have moved to London since the government introduced the UK national (overseas) visa system almost two years ago.
This follows the implementation of national security laws in Hong Kong that have led to the loss of political rights and freedoms for millions of people.
Thousands have emigrated to Britain in search of democratic freedoms, but the Manchester incident has spurred concerns about Chinese surveillance.
Former Hong Kong District Council member Carmen Lau, who now lives in London, told The Standard she and others feared possible surveillance and harassment.
“There was another rally the following week, so I was quite concerned about the Manchester incident.” [in London].
“During the rally, people said that if they walked past Chinatown to the Chinese embassy, something would happen.
“They were afraid of protests. [Manchester]We all fear surveillance and possible harassment.
“After that incident, I actually became more cautious every time I went out or walked down the street.
Simon Cheng, who founded Hong Kong Citizens in the UK, said the biggest concern facing the community was “political tensions” exacerbated by the alleged Manchester attack.
“Coming to London, I still feel that I may not be safe,” he told The Standard.
“What happened in Manchester could be ten times worse if the Chinese embassy could move to a larger space in London.
“That’s transnational oppression. [Hong Kongers] Some people are unsure if they can tell their story if they want to join a well-established group of Chinese expatriates in the UK.because some people are critical [CCP] That’s exactly why they came to England. ”
Cheng said security is the most important concern for recent BN(O) visa holders.
“What is going on in Manchester, what is China going to do next if the attackers are not brought to justice?
‘Next is London’
Deputy Mayor Weeks Bernard said in a letter to community leaders that the new Hong Kong Forum was established earlier this year with the Metropolitan Police Department.
“This group was set up to listen to the concerns of Kong citizens and improve the way the Metropolitan Police Department deals with them.
“The Mayor’s London Hong Kong Integration Steering Group is another way we actively seek community scrutiny of our work to welcome and support the integration of new arrivals.”
https://www.standard.co.uk/news/london/london-hong-kong-securitymanchester-china-consulate-b1042696.html Deputy mayor promises Hong Kong citizens safe in London after Manchester Chinese consulate incident