Australian senator accuses Chinese diplomat of ‘ripping down’ pro-democracy demonstrators

UK lawmaker accuses Chinese diplomat of ‘ripping down posters’ during pro-democracy consulate protest

Kerry to take a break from his US duties and return to UK on July 1

The former minister said ‘no one was arrested’ but that some ‘were shoved to the floor’

China: Diplomats were removed from the embassy compound and were surrounded by police

China: Some demonstrators were detained and one Chinese national was slapped with a fine

An Australian senator has accused a Chinese diplomat of ‘ripping down” posters of pro-democracy demonstrators who had been on the embassy grounds in Beijing.

Julia Gillard, the former Australian foreign minister, said the incident in a week of dramatic events during the long-running student pro-democracy protests at the embassy had been a’serious breach of international diplomatic practice.’

Ms Gillard said the diplomat had been on the grounds to attend a meeting, but then went to the embassy building with ‘ripping down posters.’

‘No one was arrested,’ she said, ‘but one person was removed to a police car and a number of people were shoved to the floor by police.

‘Clearly this behaviour was uncivilised and should not have happened in a democratic society,’ Ms Gillard said.

The foreign ministry issued a statement condemning the act.

The Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) said it could not comment on security matters ‘due to privacy and security reasons.’

The Australian Government is investigating the incident, DFAT said.

DPA news agency said some demonstrators were ‘dragged’ back into the embassy by police and one Chinese national was slapped with a fine. DPA said police told demonstrators to disperse when they refused to leave. There have been regular demonstrations against the Chinese Embassy in Canberra over the past week.

Ms Gillard said the Chinese diplomats’ behaviour was more dangerous for Australia than the protesters.

‘One of the Chinese diplomats then went to the embassy to see what was happening and ripped down posters,’ she said.

‘The protesters were demonstrating peacefully and were not attempting

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