London: Britain has not denied permission for a high-level Delegation of the Chinese government to attend Queen Elizabeth’s Lying-in-State at Westminster Hall.
According to reports, Sir Lindsay Hoyle, speaker of the House of Commons, refused to allow the Chinese delegation to attend the Queen’s ‘Lying-in-State’ event. The Queen’s state funeral will be held at Westminster Abbey on Monday, September 19.
Five British MPs had accused the Chinese government of persecution the Uighur Muslim minority in Xinjiang, ‘Politico’.
Angered by this, China had imposed sanctions on British MPs, due to which Sir Lindsay Hoyle rejected the request of the Chinese delegation.
The House of Commons said it had not commented on security matters. However, media reports claimed that the Chinese delegation will be allowed to attend the funeral but will not be allowed for the event inside the Parliament House.
UK-China relations likely to be strained
Westminster Hall is part of the parliamentary estate and is under the control of the chairmen of the House of Commons and the House of Lords. The development is expected to further strain UK-China relations.
According to reports, Britain’s Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office has invited Chinese President Xi Jinping as the head of state of the country with which Britain has diplomatic relations. It is believed that Vice President Wang Xishan can also be sent with the Chinese delegation in place of Jinping.
What the British MP said
Earlier, lawmakers had objected to the Chinese president being invited for the funeral event, against whom China has imposed sanctions. “You can’t have normal relations with a country that has been oppressing the Uighur people, apart from Tibet, for the last 60-70 years,” said Tim Lawton, one of the lawmakers. He also mentioned Hong Kong in this sequence.
Lawmakers banned by China had earlier this week sent letters to speakers of both houses of parliament seeking assurances that Chinese representatives would not be allowed into parliamentary property. Meanwhile, Downing Street has said it has been a tradition that countries with which Britain has diplomatic relations are invited for state funerals. Russia, Belarus and Myanmar have not been invited amid the Ukraine-Russia war.