Queen Elizabeth II death: Chinese government delegation blocked from attending Queen's lying-in-state
A Chinese government delegation is understood to have been blocked from attending the Queen’s lying-in-state in Westminster Abbey due to sanctions.
News website Politico said House of Commons Speaker Sir Lindsay Hoyle had told colleagues he declined a request for Chinese officials to be allowed to access Westminster Hall. Mr Hoyle’s office said it did not comment on security matters.
Last year, China imposed travel bans and asset freezes on nine British citizens, including seven MPs and peers, following accusations China had mistreated Uighur Muslims. The ban was described by the Chinese government as "despicable and cowardly".
As a result, China's ambassador to the UK was banned from Parliament. However, this ban appears to have now been extended to visiting the Queen’s coffin.
China's vice-president Wang Qishan is expected to attend Monday's state funeral, which will be held across the road from Parliament at Westminster Abbey.
The parliamentarians who were sanctioned by China have called on the UK Government to withdraw an invitation to Chinese president Xi Jinping to attend the Queen’s state funeral on Monday. Mr Xi, who made his first trip outside China since the Covid pandemic began this week – to speak at a summit in Uzbekistan where he met Russian president Vladimir Putin – is not expected to attend. Instead, Mr Qishan is likely to be there in his place.
A United Nations report published earlier this month warned the Chinese government’s arbitrary detention of Uighurs and other mostly Muslim ethnic groups in the western region of Xinjiang may constitute crimes against humanity.
The UN human rights office in Geneva concluded China has committed serious human rights violations under its anti-terrorism and anti-extremism policies and called for “urgent attention” from the United Nations, the world community and Beijing itself to address them. China has long denied such claims.
MP Tim Loughton, one of the seven banned politicians, said: "You cannot have a Golden Age, normal relations, with a country that has now been exposed as committing the sorts of atrocities it has, not least the genocide against the Uighurs, the oppression going on in Tibet for the last 60-70 years, and now what we see going on in Hong Kong as well."
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