Britain is on a collision course with China after President Xi’s officials, including his deputy, were barred from viewing the queen’s coffin because it lies in state in the Houses of Parliament.
All heads of state visiting London for the funeral on Monday have been invited to pay their respects to the late monarch at Westminster Hall before her funeral.
Chinese President Xi Jinping was invited to Monday’s event but is unlikely to attend. In his place, a delegation led by Vice President Wang Qishan is expected to travel.
But the Speaker of the House of Commons, Sir Lindsay Hoyle, has reportedly turned down a request for the Chinese delegation to enter the ancient heart of British democracy.
It came months after MI5 issued an unprecedented warning that an alleged Chinese spy has broken into parliament to interfere in British politics – and reportedly boasted of lobbying “more than 480 MPs”.
And in 2021, China’s ambassador to the UK, Zheng Zeguang, was barred from parliament after Beijing-sanctioned MPs and colleagues expressed outrage over his planned visit.
Sir Lindsay has declined to comment on claims he has banned Chinese officials from paying their respects to the Queen, although it appears Beijing was given some seats at Her Majesty’s state funeral on Monday.
But an insider told POLITICS that the fact that Chinese officials will be admitted to Westminster Abbey – but not Westminster Hall – shows that Parliament is once again taking “a considerably tougher stance against Beijing” than the Prime Minister and her government.
All heads of state visiting London for the funeral on Monday have been invited to pay their respects to the late monarch at Westminster Hall for her funeral, but a delegation led by Vice President Wang Qishan (pictured signing a condolence book) ) banned from parliament
Representatives of Russia, Belarus and Myanmar have not been invited to Monday’s funeral, while Syria, Venezuela and Taliban-ruled Afghanistan are also rejected
Angry Tory MPs have reacted to a decision to invite Chinese officials to the Queen’s funeral next week, when representatives of Russia, Belarus and Myanmar are banned.
MPs sanctioned by Beijing are furious that China is not blacklisted from the event like other countries facing claims of human rights abuses.
Chinese Vice President Wang Qishan will attend the service at Westminster Abbey on Monday along with other world leaders such as US President Joe Biden and French President Emmanuel Macron.
But MPs have criticized the invitation, just 18 months after the House of Commons declared that Uyghurs and other minorities in China’s Xinjiang region would be subjected to genocide.
It also comes after China sanctioned a string of lawmakers and colleagues last year for condemning the country’s actions in Xinjiang.
Several of them have written to the Speaker of the House of Commons, Sir Lindsay Hoyle, – as well as his counterpart, Lord McFall of Alcluith – asking for assurances that Chinese officials will not be admitted to the Palace of Westminster during their visit.
China’s ambassador to the UK, Zheng Zeguang, has already been barred from sitting in parliament in retaliation for the imposition of sanctions on MPs and colleagues.
Former Conservative leader Sir Iain Duncan Smith said it was “astonishing” that Chinese officials would be welcomed to the Queen’s funeral on Monday.
Chinese Vice President Wang Qishan will attend the service at Westminster Abbey along with other world leaders such as US President Joe Biden and French President Emmanuel Macron.
Former Conservative leader Sir Iain Duncan Smith said: Politics it was “amazing” that Chinese officials were welcomed at the Queen’s funeral, describing it as “project kowtow all over again.”
“How can they ban Belarus, Russia and Myanmar and not say no to China?” said the ex-cabinet minister.
“They have a tremendous track record of human rights violations, including what we believe to be genocide, destroying churches and persecuting Christians.”
Fellow Tory MP Tim Loughton, who, like Sir Iain, is among those sanctioned by Beijing, told the website that it was “inconceivable that on such an important and bleak occasion as the Queen’s state funeral, representatives of the Chinese Communist Party should be invited to participate on the same basis of other nations that have not been convicted of their genocidal acts.”
Mr Loughton wrote the letter to Sir Lindsay and Lord McFall – co-signed by Sir Iain, crossbench peer Lord Alton and Labor peer Helena Kennedy – demanding that Chinese officials be banned from the parliamentary estate during their visit.
“Since the United Kingdom Parliament voted to recognize the genocide committed by the Chinese government against the Uyghur people, it is extraordinary that the architects of that genocide are treated more favorably than the countries that have been excluded,” the statement said. letter. said.
According to the South China Morning Post, Vice President Wang will arrive in London for the Queen’s funeral on Sunday.
Chinese President Xi Jinping sent a congratulatory message to King Charles on his accession to the throne on Saturday.
He said he was ready to work with the new monarch to improve mutual understanding and friendship between the UK and China.
Representatives of Russia, Belarus and Myanmar have not been invited to Monday’s funeral, while Syria, Venezuela and Taliban-ruled Afghanistan are also rejected.
North Korea, Nicaragua and Iran have only been invited at the ambassadorial level.
Number 10 said today that invitations to the Queen’s funeral were a Buckingham Palace business.
“It is up to them to draw up their guest list and, as is customary, those with whom we have diplomatic relations are generally invited,” the prime minister’s official spokesman said.