Chinese officials banned from viewing Queen Elizabeth's coffin in UK: Reports
A Chinese government delegation has been banned from entering the parliamentary estate to pay respects to Queen Elizabeth II as she lies in state in Westminster Hall until her funeral on Monday.
All heads of state visiting London for the funeral have been invited to attend the lying-in-state in Westminster Hall ahead of Monday's service and to sign the book of condolences at Lancaster House. However, on Friday, the BBC reported that House of Commons Speaker Sir Lindsay Hoyle declined a request for Chinese officials to be allowed access to the Hall due to Chinese sanctions against five MPs and two peers.
The delegation is being accompanied by Chinese Vice-President Wang Qishan. The decision of the Common Speaker has been made independently of the Palace. Sir Lindsay's office has refused to comment on his decision, saying it was a "security matter".
This comes after China's ambassador to Britain Zheng Zeguan was banned from the parliamentary estate last year in a dispute that originated from Britain's claims that Chinese officials have suppressed the rights of Uyghur Muslims in the Xinjiang province.
According to The Independent, back then Sir Lindsay said that it would not be "appropriate" to let the Chinese envoy on to the estate while MPs were subject to sanctions. He added that the ban on the ambassador would remain in place so long as sanctions remained on British MPs.
To this, China responded by saying that the "despicable and cowardly" action of certain individuals of the UK parliament to obstruct normal exchanges and cooperation between China and the UK for personal political gains is against the wishes and harmful to the interests of the peoples of both nations.
However, now, Tim Loughton, one of the Conservative MPs banned by China, stated that the invitation to China should never have been issued in the first place. "It is incredible that the government would contemplate inviting representatives of the government of China to attend such an important international occasion as the state funeral," he said.