Despite the attacks on members of the British chancery in Peking, Britain will not seek a disruption of diplomatic relations with the People's Republic of China.
Despite the attacks on members of the British chancery in Peking, Britain will not seek a disruption of diplomatic relations with the People's Republic of China. This was one outcome of talks held today (Wednesday) among British prime minister Harold Wilson, Foreign Secretary George Brown and top-ranking foreign office officials. Both Mr Wilson and Mr Brown interrupted holidays to return to London for the talks.
Anglo-Chinese relations were brought to their lowest ebb since the communists came to power when thousands of demonstrators burst into the British mission in Peking last night (Tuesday) and manhandled diplomats. A foreign office spokesman in London said the diplomats were beaten and kicked, and some forced to bow their heads or kneel in the face of Chinese intimidation.
The British Charge D'Affaires, Mr Donald Hopson, was in the thick of the violence, and was said to be bleeding but not badly hurt after the demonstrators had invaded the mission.
Retaliation came with an order preventing Chinese citizens from leaving Britain without special permission. Three British government ministers travelled to Scotland, where they convened a Privy Council and had the order signed by Queen Elizabeth.
The scene outside the Chinese legation in London on was quiet today - the windows were shuttered and only two policeman stood on guard. Inquiries were not encouraged, and it was the same at the offices of the New China News Agency and the Bank of China.
Mr Wilson had only a brief 10-minute airport conference with Mr Brown, but he had discussed the situation in length with Mr George Thomson at 10 Downing Street earlier in the day.
When Mr Wilson flew back to his holiday cottage in the Scilly Isles Mr Brown went on the Foreign Office to take up the matter.