London: MPs sanctioned by Beijing have written to the newly installed British foreign secretary to demand that Chinese government officials be banned from attending Monday’s state funeral for Queen Elizabeth II.
The heads of state of Russia and Belarus have not been invited due to Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine, while Myanmar has also missed out following a military coup in 2021 that deposed the elected National League for Democracy, led by Aung San Suu Kyi.
On Thursday, Putin met his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping in Uzbekistan to solidify a “no-limits partnership” that was announced just before Russia’s February invasion, with Putin decrying the “ugly form” of interventions taken by the West in response to his war.
China’s ambassador to the UK is already banned from visiting the Palace of Westminster after Beijing sanctioned a string of British parliamentarians, including members of the Inter-Parliamentary Alliance on China, which was formed in the wake of the post-pandemic economic sanctions the country imposed on Australia.
In a letter to Speaker Sir Lindsay Hoyle, marked “Urgent,” four of the sanctioned MPs, including Tim Loughton, former Tory leader Iain Duncan Smith and members of the Lords David Alton and Helena Kennedy, said they were “greatly concerned” to hear Chinese representatives had been invited to Monday’s funeral.
“We are greatly concerned to hear that the government of China has been invited to attend the state funeral next week, despite other countries, Russia, Belarus and Myanmar, being excluded,” the MPs and Lords wrote.
“Given that the United Kingdom parliament has voted to recognise the genocide committed by the Chinese government against the Uighur people, it is extraordinary that the architects of that genocide should be treated in any more favourable way than those countries who have been banned.
“We have written to the foreign secretary in similar terms and we hope to have your support in that.”