fifty years ago August 30, 1967 Archives

Chinese diplomats clash with London police

Chinese diplomats stormed out of their legation here [London] to-day [August 29] and hurled themselves on police with clubs, bottles and shrieks of abuse. One Chinese brandished a gun and another smashed at a policeman with an axe. After a furious, 15-minute battle, two police officers were taken to hospital and three Chinese were carried off on stretchers. The tumult broke out at lunch time just behind the big legation building in Central London. Neighbours’ heads popped out of windows in alarm. One woman hurled down flower pots at the Chinese, another tipped out buckets of water. Earlier in the day there was another scuffle at the front of the building. One policeman was injured in that fracas. The second one started when Charge d’Affaires Shen Ping drove back from the Foreign office after conveying a protest alleging that police had roughed up one of his officials. Mr. Shen’s car was followed by a police car — as has been customary ever since the British Government slapped movement restrictions on the Chinese last week in retaliation for the burning down of the British Chancery in Peking. When the police car drew up behind the legation building, about 20 Chinese darted out of the legation garage and surrounded it. They banged on the roof and refused to let the car move until the officers apologised for insulting Chairman Mao Tse-tung by allegedly snatching a Mao badge from a Chinese official earlier in the day. Police reinforcements dashed up to clear a way for the car. As they did, more Chinese poured out of the legation. A Chinese girl came to the front door with a loud hailer and yelled: “Down with British Imperialism.” “Mao is a pig”, the crowd retorted. “What about Mr. Hopson?” — a reference to Britain’s envoy in China who was beaten when his mission in Peking was sacked a week ago.

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Printable version | Nov 28, 2021 2:07:18 AM |

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