A Chinese government delegation has been banned from attending Queen Elizabeth II’s funeral, according to parliamentary sources. The Speaker of the House of Commons, Sir Lindsay Hoyle, is said to have rejected a motion against the Chinese sanctions five MPs and two colleagues.
Queen Elizabeth will remain in Westminster Hall in State until her funeral on Monday.
A senior official from Beijing was expected to be among the guests, but a spokeswoman for China’s Foreign Ministry said Friday that no decision had been made.
The spokeswoman, Mao Ning, said they had not seen reports about the Westminster Hall ban, which first emerged o the politico websites. But she added: “As a host, the UK is certainly familiar with diplomatic protocols and proper manners of receiving guests.”
Downing Street declined to comment, with a spokesperson saying “admission to Parliament is a matter for Parliament”.
Relations With China Over Hong Kong & Uyghurs
Last year, China imposed travel bans and asset freezes on nine Brits, including seven MPs, for accusing Beijing of abusing Muslim Uyghurs.
This led to China’s ambassador to the United Kingdom was expelled from Parliament : a move that has now widened to include a delegation set to pay their respects at Queen Elizabeth’s funeral.
Relations between Britain and China are already strained, and this ban is unlikely to help.
The Queen’s coffin is currently in state in Westminster Hall, part of the Parliamentary Precinct, ahead of Monday’s state funeral at nearby Westminster Abbey. The funeral will be one of the most important diplomatic events in recent years, with around 500 heads of state and foreign dignitaries including US President Joe Biden.
A Downing Street spokesman said it was convention that countries with which Britain has diplomatic relations should be invited to state funerals.
Syria, Venezuela, Afghanistan, Myanmar, Russia and Belarus were not invited, while Iran, North Korea and Nicaragua were asked to send only one senior diplomat.
Chinese President Xi Jinping is on the guest list but is unlikely to attend. Chinese Vice President Wang Qishan is expected to attend Monday’s state funeral, which will be held outside Parliament at Westminster Abbey.
MPs sanctioned by China have the UK government invited to withdraw a hearing procedure Invitation to Chinese President Xi Jinping to attend the Queen’s state funeral on Monday. Xi, who made his first trip from China since the start of the Covid pandemic this week to address a summit in Uzbekistan where he met Russian President Vladimir Putin, is not expected to attend. Instead, Mr. Qishan will probably be there.