Home » Beijing accuses UK of making false allegations against Chinese citizens

Beijing accuses UK of making false allegations against Chinese citizens

China has accused the UK of false accusations, “wanton stigmatisation” and arbitrary arrests after the unexplained death of a man charged with illegally assisting Hong Kong’s foreign intelligence service.

China’s foreign ministry office in Hong Kong said in a statement on its website on Saturday that it strongly condemned Britain for what it said were false accusations against Chinese citizens, infringing their lawful rights.

Britain’s acts were “a wanton stigmatisation of China and arbitrary arrests and prosecutions of Chinese citizens in the United Kingdom”, it said.

Tensions between Beijing and London have been rising over China’s sweeping national security crackdown since 2019, when sometimes violent pro-democracy protests swept Hong Kong, a former British colony returned to Beijing’s control in 1997.

Matthew Trickett, 37, a former Royal Marine who worked as an immigration officer and private investigator, was found dead in a park in the west of London on Sunday.

He had been granted bail along with Chung Biu Yuen, 63, an office manager at the Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office in London, and Chi Leung Wai, 38, also known as Peter Wai, who works as a UK Border Force officer.

The three were charged with assisting a foreign intelligence service between December and May by “agreeing to undertake information gathering, surveillance and acts of deception” in Britain.

Hong Kong’s secretary for commerce and economic development, Algernon Yau, meeting with Britain’s deputy counsel general, urged Britain to let the public “know the truth” about Trickett’s death, Yau’s department said on Thursday.

Yuen and Wai, who have not yet entered pleas, were told by Judge Jeremy Baker that their trial, expected to last five weeks, had been set for February and they would next appear in court on 25 October.