Tory MPs hit out at ‘astonishing’ decision to invite Chinese officials to Queen’s funeral and ask why Beijing isn’t being blacklisted from Monday’s event like Russia, Belarus and Myanmar
- Tory MPs hit out at decision to invite Chinese officials to Queen’s funeral
- Sir Iain Duncan Smith asks why Beijing isn’t blacklisted like Russian and Belarus
- China’s Vice-President Wang Qishan is set to attend Westminster Abbey service
- The Queen’s funeral: All the latest Royal Family news and coverage
Angry Tory MPs have hit out at a decision to invite Chinese officials to the Queen’s funeral next week when representatives of Russia, Belarus and Myanmar have been banned.
Parliamentarians who have been sanctioned by Beijing are furious that China is not being blacklisted from the event like other countries facing claims of human rights abuses.
China’s Vice-President Wang Qishan is set to attend the Westminster Abbey service on Monday along with other world leaders such as US President Joe Biden and French President Emmanuel Macron.
But MPs have criticised the invite just 18 months after the House of Commons declared that Uighurs and other minorities in China’s Xinjiang region are being subjected to genocide.
It also comes after China last year sanctioned a string of MPs and peers over their condemnation of the country’s actions in Xinjiang.
A number of them have written to Commons Speaker Sir Lindsay Hoyle – as well as his Lords counterpart, Lord McFall of Alcluith – to seek assurances that Chinese officials will not be allowed into the Palace of Westminster during their visit.
China’s ambassador to the UK, Zheng Zeguang, is already barred from Parliament in retaliatory action for the imposition of sanctions on MPs and peers.
Former Conservative leader Sir Iain Duncan Smith said it was ‘astonishing’ that Chinese officials would be welcomed at the Queen’s funeral on Monday
China’s Vice-President Wang Qishan is set to attend the Westminster Abbey service along with other world leaders such as US President Joe Biden and French President Emmanuel Macron
Representatives of Russia, Belarus and Myanmar have not been invited to Monday’s funeral, while Syria, Venezuela and Taliban-ruled Afghanistan are also being snubbed
Former Conservative leader Sir Iain Duncan Smith told Politico 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.’
Fellow Tory MP Tim Loughton, who like Sir Iain is among those to have been sanctioned by Beijing, told the website it was ‘inconceivable that at such an important and sombre occasion as the state funeral of the Queen, that representatives of the Chinese Communist Party should be invited to attend on the same basis of other nations who have not been condemned for their genocidal acts’.
Mr Loughton penned the letter to Sir Lindsay and Lord McFall – co-signed by Sir Iain, crossbench peer Lord Alton, and Labour peer Helena Kennedy – demanding that Chinese officials not be allowed onto the Parliamentary estate during their visit.
‘Given that the United Kingdom Parliament has voted to recognize 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,’ the letter said.
According to the South China Morning Post, Vice-President Wang is expected to arrive in London on Sunday ahead of the Queen’s funeral.
On Saturday, China’s President Xi Jinping sent a congratulatory message to King Charles on his accession to the throne.
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 being snubbed.
North Korea, Nicaragua and Iran have been invited only at ambassadorial level.
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