Britain and China conflict over police beating of BBC journalist



livid diplomatic row erupted on Tuesday as Britain accused China of not telling the reality concerning the “beating” of a journalist by police in Shanghai.

Cupboard minister Michelle Donelan criticised Beijing after the Chinese language international ministry claimed the BBC was maliciously taking part in the sufferer over the incident in Shanghai.

Downing Avenue on Monday condemned the remedy of Ed Lawrence – who was arrested whereas protecting protests in opposition to Xi Jinping’s zero Covid coverage, which incorporates draconian lockdown restrictions – as “stunning and unacceptable”.

However China’s international ministry stated on Tuesday that journalists shouldn’t have interaction in actions unrelated to their function.

The BBC is taking part in the sufferer, ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian added at an everyday information convention in Beijing.

The Overseas Ministry additionally accused Britain of hypocritical double requirements.

However Tradition Secretary Michelle Donelan hit again strongly in opposition to Beijing, questioning whether or not the Chinese language authorities was telling the total reality concerning the incident.

She advised LBC Radio: “I’ve seen the footage and it’s completely stunning.

“We imagine in press freedom and the power for the media to have the ability to report all around the globe and talk what is definitely taking place on the bottom and that I imagine is what this particular person was making an attempt to do, they have been simply making an attempt to do their job.

“It’s fairly stunning that they have been handled in such an appalling style.

“I await the total particulars of that from the Chinese language authorities.

“I do know that they’ve given a model of the reality which I’m certain we’d all agree may be very extremely sceptical.”

The conflict got here simply hours after Prime Minister Rishi Sunak stated the “golden period” of relations with China, pushed by George Osborne as Chancellor, was over.

As an alternative, the Authorities would undertake a coverage of “strong pragmatism” in direction of Beijing, amid rising worries over its world ambitions and human rights breaches.

The BBC issued an announcement on Monday condemning the behaviour by Chinese language police, including that it had not been given a reputable clarification for Mr Lawrence’s detention.

“The BBC is extraordinarily involved concerning the remedy of our journalist Ed Lawrence, who was arrested and handcuffed whereas protecting the protests in Shanghai,” a spokesperson for the British public service broadcaster stated.

“He was held for a number of hours earlier than being launched. Throughout his arrest, he was overwhelmed and kicked by the police. This occurred whereas he was working as an accredited journalist.”

Video circulated on social media appeared to point out the second Mr Lawrence was arrested by 4 males in police uniforms.

Whereas being led away, along with his palms cuffed behind his again, he could be heard to say to a colleague: “Name the consulate now.”

Responding to the incident, the Prime Minister’s official spokesman stated on Monday: “The arrest of this journalist merely going about their work is stunning and unacceptable.

“Journalists should be capable to do their jobs with out worry of intimidation.”

Overseas Secretary James Cleverly stated the arrest and reported beating of Mr Lawrence was “deeply disturbing” whereas Enterprise Secretary Grant Shapps confused there was “completely no excuse” for it.

He tweeted: “Media freedom and freedom to protest have to be revered. No nation is exempt.

“The arrest of BBC journalist @EP_Lawrence in China is deeply disturbing. Journalists should be capable to do their job with out intimidation.”

Mr Lawrence had been in Shanghai protecting mass protests which have flared throughout China, over the nation’s strict lockdown guidelines.

The protests have been sparked by a lethal home hearth within the western metropolis of Urumqi that killed 10 individuals final final week.

The lethal blaze fuelled hypothesis that Covid curbs within the metropolis, components of which had been beneath lockdown for 100 days, had hindered rescue and escape, which metropolis officers denied.

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