According to London Metropolitan Police, a woman was taken to hospital by ambulance after “suffering an injury to her arm.” The force said it was investigating an alleged assault and “no arrests had been made at this stage.”
The incident comes amid renewed protests in the semi-autonomous Chinese city, which has been gripped by almost six months of anti-government protests originally sparked by an extradition bill with China. As Justice Secretary, Cheng was one of several senior officials, along with Chief Executive Carrie Lam, closely linked to the now-shelved bill.
The Chinese Embassy in London claimed Cheng was “besieged and attacked by dozens of anti-China and pro-independence activists.”
In a statement, the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (CIArb) — of which Cheng is a former President — said Cheng was “invited as the first woman and past President to deliver the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators’ prestigious Alexander Lecture at CIArb’s building in London.”
The institute said that while Cheng was entering the building she “was assaulted by a crowd,” adding that “CIArb is committed to peacefully resolving conflict and deplores the use of violence, particularly to a guest to the United Kingdom.”
Protests continued throughout the day in Hong Kong Friday, with thousands of office workers joining lunchtime demonstrations. This week has seen a renewed spate of violent unrest in recent days, following the death of a 22-year-old student who fell near the scene of demonstrations last Friday. Protesters have clashed with riot police at multiple locations, paralyzing much of the territory and forcing citywide school cancellations.