A female reporter for the state-owned China Central Television (CCTV) was arrested for ass ault after making a scene and slapping a volunteer at a U.K. conference on Hong Kong autonomy.
The conference, held in Birmingham on Sunday, was co-hosted by the U.K.’s Conservative Party Human Rights Commission and London-based NGO Hong Kong Watch.
In a now-viral video, CCTV reporter Kong Linlin is seen going berserk as attendees restrained her.
Kong, who is based in London, is heard yelling “Shame on you!”, “You are a puppet!” and “Oh how democratic, the UK!”
Kong allegedly went bonkers after Benedict Rogers, founder of Hong Kong Watch, said that he was “not anti-China” during a speech.
However, people started restraining the reporter when she slapped Enoch Lieu, a Hong Kong-born Keele University graduate volunteering for the event.
“She stood up and shouted at them, ‘You’re a liar,’ ‘You’re anti-China,’ ‘You’re trying to separate China’ (and) ‘You’re all puppets of the West,'” Lieu told CNN. “The rest of the audience was completely stunned by what happened.”
Lieu, who asked Kong to leave the premises, claimed that she slapped him in the face twice.
West Midlands Police eventually removed Kong from the premises and charged her with assault, though she was released the following day.
Meanwhile, Lieu found Kong’s behavior unbelievable.
“I always know events on Hong Kong will attract hostile attention from China, however, I wasn’t expecting I [would] be assaulted by a CCTV reporter right at the party conference,” he told the Hong Kong Free Press. “Her action was an insult to British democracy and it shows that some people have no regard to common decency and the value of free speech at all.”
CCTV has since responded to the incident and stood by its reporter’s side. It claimed that Kong was “bloc ked and assaulted” while trying to express her opinion.
“The organizer of event must apologize to our journalist, and the UK police should protect her legitimate rights,” CGTN quoted a spokesperson as saying.
The Chinese Embassy in London echoed similar sentiments, calling the incident “completely unacceptable.” It likewise demanded an apology.
“In a country that boasts freedom of speech, it is puzzling that the Chinese journalist should encounter obstruction in such a way and even assault at the fringe event when she simply raised a question and expressed her opinions. This is completely unacceptable.
“The Human Rights Committee of UK Conservative Party should stop interfering in China’s internal affairs and stop meddling in Hong Kong affairs. The organizer of fringe event should apologize to the Chinese journalist.”