China imposed sanctions on nine politicians, lawyers and a British academic in March for spreading “lies and misinformation” about the treatment of Muslim Uighurs in the country’s far west.
Speaker of the House of Commons Lindsay Hoyle and Speaker of the House of Lords John McFall intervened to prevent Zheng Zheguang from speaking at an event in Parliament.
“I hold frequent meetings with ambassadors around the world to build lasting relationships between countries and parliamentarians,” Hoyle said.
“But I don’t think it is appropriate for the Chinese ambassador to be present on the (House) Commons premises and in our working environment when his country imposes sanctions against some of our members.”
Walled facility in Xinjiang, China, where the Chinese government is accused of detaining Uighur Muslims for their religion – Photo: Ayesha Khan/RNS via AP
China’s response: ‘Disgusting and cowardly action’
A spokesman for the Chinese embassy criticized the move.
“The despicable and cowardly actions of individuals in the UK Parliament to obstruct normal exchanges and cooperation between China and the UK for personal political gains are against the wishes and interests of the people of both countries,” he said. Statement.
Hoyle said he was not banning the Chinese representative permanently, but only as long as the sanctions are in effect.
According to the Daily Telegraph newspaper, the invitation was sent to Zheguang over the summer by Richard Graham, chairman of a parliamentary group on China. Graham did not respond to a request for comment and the parliamentary group declined to comment.
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