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Friday, September 16, 2022 – China hit back at the UK government after the Parliamentary authorities banned its delegation from viewing the Queen’s coffin.
All heads of state have been invited to pay their respects to the late monarch in Westminster Hall before her funeral.
China’s president Xi Jinping was invited to Monday’s event but is instead sending a delegation led by vice-president Wang Qishan.
However, House of Commons Speaker Lindsay Hoyle has denied a request for the Chinese group to enter the ancient heart of British democracy.
Sir Lindsay has maintained that Chinese state officials should not be able to enter Parliament after sanctioning MPs for condemning human rights abuses against Uighurs.
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman, Mao Ning has now issued a response saying that the UK should ‘follow the diplomatic protocols and proper manners to receive guests’.
Asked about Liz Truss’s view on the issue, a No10 spokeswoman said: ‘Admission to Parliament is a matter for Parliament.’
MPs subject to reprisals from China, including Tory former leader Iain Duncan Smith and Tim Loughton, have slammed the ‘extraordinary’ decision to extend an invite to the funeral.
An insider told POLITICO that the Chinese delegation being allowed inside Westminster Abbey but not Westminster Hall would demonstrate that Parliament was again ‘taking a significantly tougher stance against Beijing’ than the rest of the state.
MI5 previously issued an unprecedented warning that an alleged Chinese spy has infiltrated Parliament to interfere in UK politics and allegedly boasted of lobbying ‘more than 480 MPs’.
And China’s ambassador to the UK Zheng Zeguang has been barred from Parliament since 2021 after MPs and peers were sanctioned by Beijing.
In a letter to Sir Lindsay earlier this week, Sir Iain and Mr Loughton, along with crossbench peer Lord Alton and Labour’s Baroness Kennedy, warned against giving the delegation access.
‘We are greatly concerned to hear that the Government of China has been invited to attend the state funeral next week, despite other countries Russia, Belarus and Myanmar being excluded,’ they wrote.
‘Given that the United Kingdom Parliament has voted to recognise the genocide committed by the Chinese Government against the Uighur people it is extraordinary that the architects of that genocide should be treated in any more favourable way than those countries who have been barred.’
Sir Iain said it was ‘astonishing’ that Chinese officials would be welcomed at the Queen’s funeral and described it as ‘project kowtow all over again’.
‘How can they ban Belarus, Russia and Myanmar and not say no to China?’ the ex-Cabinet minister said.
‘They have a huge record of human rights abuses, including what we believe to be genocide, smashing churches and persecuting Christians.’