20 Nov 2019

UK consulate worker in HK tells tale of torture by Chinese state security agents

China was so worried about London supporting the Hong Kong protests it kidnapped a young employee of the British consulate, abused and threatened him, and then lied about it.

These are the tools and techniques of the Chinese Communist Party’s foreign policy today.

  • Kidnapping
  • Isolated incommunicado detention
  • Beatings
  • Torture
  • Forced confession
  • Threats to keep quiet about it or they’ll do it again.


This is exactly what happened in August this year to then UK consulate worker in Hong Kong, Simon Cheng (pictured, taken from his Facebook page). The young man has just given interviews to a number of English-language global media including the BBC, The Telegraph and The Wall Street Journal and has made his own detailed statement on his Facebook page.

Mr. Cheng, at the time a trade and investment officer for the British Consulate General Hong Kong, disappeared 8 August as he was leaving Shenzhen to return to Hong Kong by train. Mr. Cheng holds a British National Overseas (BNO) passport. He had been on official business in China for his employer.

Then he disappeared.

His family, who were “worried sick about him” did not receive any official notice about his detention, it wasn’t until almost two weeks later that China admitted it was holding him, releasing him a few days after that accusing him of soliciting prostitutes.

Three months after his ordeal, he has finally revealed the horrible truth of what happened to him. Chinese police:

  • Detained him on the high-speed rail train from Shenzhen to Hong Kong (inside Hong Kong but controversially controlled by China);
  • Interrogated him while he was locked into a painful tiger chair;
  • Handcuffed, shackled, blindfolded and hooded him 
  • Hung him on a cross shape with cuffs for hours;
  • Forced him to squat mid-air for hours;
  • Beat him with what felt like "sharpened batons";
  • Subjected him to extended sleep deprivation;
  • Threatened him they would charge him with subversion and espionage unless he confessed;
  • Tried to pressure him into confessing that the UK government was giving support to the HK protesters;
  • Tried to persuade him to work as a spy for the Chinese government;
  • Forced to film confessions saying he had solicited prostitutes and had "betrayed the motherland"
  • And told him that if he ever spoke out, state agents would kidnap him from Hong Kong and take him back to mainland China

From the BCC:



And Mr. Cheng’s case is not an isolated one. Dozens of foreigners from Swedish to Taiwanese, American to Australian have been kidnapped, abused and accused in the past few years. Chinese human rights defenders suffer similar treatment that can last years, languishing in secret jails, detention centres and prisons.

Mr. Cheng is now seeking asylum as he fears for his safety in Hong Kong.

This is the ugly face of Chinese justice and it is increasingly being wielded outside China.

Clearly it has taken a great deal of courage for Mr. Cheng to speak out.

The world should not waste that courage.

Governments must use this knowledge to condemn China for these thuggish actions and do all in their power to prevent it from happening again.