Britain has summoned China’s ambassador over the assault and arrest of a BBC journalist while covering a protest in Shanghai, China.

The BBC had revealed its journalist, Ed Lawrence, was beaten, arrested, and handcuffed while covering the protest against the extreme COVID-19 prevention measures.

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Arriving at a NATO foreign ministers meeting in Bucharest, Britain’s Foreign minister, James Cleverly, revealed that he had instructed the summoning of the Chinese ambassador.

“It is incredibly important that we protect media freedom. It is something very much at the heart of the UK’s belief system, and it is incredibly important that journalists can go about their business unmolested and without fear of attack,” the minister said.

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The UK Prime Minister, Rishi Sunak, criticized the Chinese approach to the protests, claiming that the government is choosing to crack down rather than listen to the people.

Responding to the Prime Minister, the China embassy in London published a statement on its website, signed by a spokesperson to the embassy.

The statement partly reads, “The remarks from the UK side, which are full of ideological prejudice, constitute a malicious distortion and slander against China’s policies. We firmly oppose this.

“China is committed to the path of peaceful development and dedicates itself to developing friendly and cooperative relations with other countries based on the principles of mutual respect, equality, and non-interference in each other’s internal affairs. It has always been a builder of world peace. China has brought opportunities to the development of the world through its development, and has always been a contributor to global development.”

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The spokesperson also revealed that the issues relating to Xinjiang and Hong Kong are internal affairs and the UK side is “in no position or has any right to pass judgment.”

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