In response to China’s application to build a new embassy in London, Tower Hamlets Council has voted to consider naming nearby roads and buildings Tiananmen Square, Uyghur Court, Hong Kong Road and Tibet Hill, it has been reported.
In a move that is likely to infuriate the Chinese government, local councillors in the London borough of Tower Hamlets are pushing to rename the roads directly surrounding the the three buildings that will comprise the embassy to assert “support for the freedom and diversity of our borough”, according to various reports.
‘A fortress facing Tower Bridge’
One of the driving forces behind the campaign is Rahima Mahmut, who has called Tower Hamlets her home for over two decades.
The singer, told the MyLondon website about the three buildings that have been purchased by the Chinse government: “It’s like they’re building their own palace there. It’s like a fortress facing the Tower Bridge.”
“We are asking Tower Hamlets Council to dedicate three names to three different communities that are being affected by Chinese government oppression – Tibet Hill, Uyghur Court and Hong Kong Square,” she reportedly said. “It would be symbolic.”
Mahmut, who is an ethnic Uyghur who fled to London two decades ago, said it took her three years to get a passport before she could leave China.
“Three years to get my passport and get a visa to come to the UK as a student. Two years later, my son and his father joined me. I never went back,” she said.