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Rights record cited in UK lawmakers’ opposition to China at Queen’s state funeral, lying-in-state

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(TibetanReview.net, Sep16’22) – The United Kingdom’s House of Commons Speaker, Sir Lindsay Hoyle, has refused a request for access to a Chinese government delegation to the Westminster Hall where Queen Elizabeth II lies in state until her funeral on Sep 19. The reason was Chinese sanctions against five UK MPs and two peers, reported the bbc.com Sep 16. Also, the UK government has been criticized for inviting Chinese official to the state funeral for the queen.

China’s ambassador to the UK, Zheng Zeguang, is already barred from Parliament in retaliatory action for Beijing’s imposition of sanctions on MPs and peers.

Also, angry Tory MPs have hit out at the government’s decision to invite Chinese officials to the Queen’s funeral when representatives of Russia, Belarus and Myanmar have been banned for their deplorable human rights record.

On Sep 15, a group of seven MPs and peers, including former Tory ministers Iain Duncan Smith and Tim Loughton, urged the Foreign Secretary to withdraw an invitation to President Xi of China to attend the Queen’s funeral.

They have said it was “extraordinary” that the “architects” of genocide against the Uyghur minority had been invited.

“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.” The bbc.com Sep 16 quoted Tim Laughton as saying.

China’s President Xi Jinping, though on the guest list for the state funeral, is seen as unlikely to attend. British officials, instead, are said to expect Beijing to be represented by Vice President Wang Qishan.

In defence, a Downing Street spokesman has said it was a convention that countries with which the UK has diplomatic relations should be invited to state funerals.

Wang will attend the Westminster Abbey service on Sep 19, along with other world leaders such as US President Joe Biden and French President Emmanuel Macron.

And the protesting group of MPs and peers 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.

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