flipping out at a conference in the United Kingdom featuring Hong Kong pro-democracy speakers has been charged with assault for slapping a volunteer at the event.CCTV journalist who made a name for herself last month by
West Midlands Police told the Hong Kong Free Press that 48-year-old Kong Linlin will be ordered to appear at court in the city of Birmingham on November 7th in relation to the charge of common assault.
The UK-based Kong infamously threw one heck of a tantrum while attending the event, titled “The Erosion of Freedom, the Rule of Law and Autonomy in Hong Kong,” which was co-hosted by the UK’s Conservative Party Human Rights Commission and the London-based NGO Hong Kong Watch, taking place on the sidelines of the Conservative Party’s annual conference in Birmingham.
As Hong Kong Watch founder Benedict Rogers was speaking on stage, Kong brought the proceedings to a sudden halt by shouting at the top of her lungs, calling the panelists “puppets,” “fake Chinese,” and “traitors.”
When Kong continued shrieking and refused to leave the event, volunteers and attendees attempted to escort her out. Video shows her making a scene while being restrained, shouting out things like: “You are a puppet!” “Shame on you!” “Leave me alone!” “You have no right!” and ”Oh, how democratic UK!”
One volunteer, Enoch Lieu, a Hong Kong-born graduate of Keele University, claims that Kong slapped him in the face twice during the struggle. There has been no video evidence published of either of the face slaps, though footage does show Kong slapping Lieu once in the hand.
In the end, Kong was taken away by police and arrested on suspicion of common assault. She was released without charges 24 hours later, though local police said that their investigation was still ongoing.
Following the bizarre incident, both CCTV and the Chinese embassy in London defended Kong, demanding an apology from the event’s organizer and accusing the UK of failing to uphold its promises of freedom of speech.
While such a display would likely get you fired from most media organizations, this isn’t the case for Chinese state media. Some posited that Kong’s outburst was not spontaneous, but calculated in order to boost her career prospects. On social media, Kong quickly cast herself as the victim.
Hey Guy,Who threat who ? Don’t play the far right wing game with me. pic.twitter.com/U17VGPikGY
— Linlin Kong (@LinlinKong) October 2, 2018
The incident suddenly turned the middle-aged state media reporter into a household name in her home country. While some criticized Kong for her lack of professionalism and choppy English, others cheered her on, hailing her as a national hero and proclaiming her a “modern-day Mulan.”
It’s not yet clear how Beijing will react to the news of Kong being charged with assault, but we have a feeling that things are about to get very interesting.