Chinese journalist charged with assault over UK conference slap

Posted at 2:53 AM, Oct 25, 2018
and last updated 2018-10-25 05:22:24-04

A Chinese state media journalist who was caught on camera slapping a volunteer at the UK Conservative Party conference has been charged with common assault.

West Midlands Police said in a statement that CCTV reporter Kong Linlin, 48, had been charged over incident on September 30, which made headlines around the world.

At a talk on the erosion of freedom in Hong Kong, held on the sidelines of the annual party conference, Kong began to interject loudly over one of the speakers, saying he was a “liar” and “anti-China.”

When volunteer Enoch Lieu asked the woman to leave, she refused and kept shouting, before allegedly slapping Lieu when he tried to remove her. “The rest of the audience was completely stunned by what happened,” Lieu told CNN in September.

Kong was physically restrained and removed from the conference, while shouting “Oh how democratic, the UK!” Police took her into custody at the time but she was later released while they investigated the complaints.

At the time the Chinese government reacted furiously to how Kong was treated, with the embassy to the UK saying it was “completely unacceptable.”

“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,” the embassy said.

Kong’s employer, CCTV, even demanded an apology from UK authorities for her treatment.

So far, the Chinese government has not released any further statements on the charges against Kong. West Midlands Police said she is due to appear in Birmingham Magistrates Court on November 7.