BEIJING, November 29. /TASS/. Beijing has issued a formidable protest to the British government over the UK’s rash remarks about a BBC journalist allegedly having been beaten in Shanghai, Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Zhao Lijian said at a briefing on Tuesday.
"The UK’s remarks on the matter distort the facts and we view them as flagrant meddling in China’s domestic policy, therefore, we resolutely protest against it," he stressed.
The Chinese diplomat specified that when asked by police to leave the crowded area, the BBC journalist had refused and also failed to inform law enforcement officers that he was a media worker. "Police began to identify him, which is standard procedure," Zhao Lijian added.
According to him, Chinese police "were acting in full compliance with the law." The Foreign Ministry spokesperson also slammed a BBC report that its journalist had been beaten as untrue. "In fact, this is nothing more than slinging mud at China," Zhao Lijian noted.
"The United Kingdom should respect the facts, make more cautious statements and stop pursuing double standards," he concluded.
British Home Secretary James Cleverly earlier stated that China needed to respect freedom of speech and people’s right to protest. He also commented on a BBC report about its employee Ed Lawrence having been "arrested and beaten" in Shanghai by saying that "journalists must be able to do their job without intimidation."
The South China Morning Post, a Hong Kong-based newspaper, reported that demonstrations against the ongoing coronavirus restrictions had taken place in several Chinese cities over the weekend.