Chinese ambassador banned from UK parliament over sanctions debate – POLITICO

The British Houses of Parliament decided on Tuesday to ban the Chinese ambassador in retaliation for Beijing’s impositions. sanctions British MPs earlier this year

Zheng Zeguang, who took over in July, was due to attend the all-party caucus meeting on China, but the invitation was canceled Tuesday by House of Commons Speaker Lindsay Hoyle.

The Chinese embassy in London harshly criticized the decision, calling it “despicable and cowardly”.

The move comes after Hoyle met last week with a group of lawmakers targeted by the Chinese sanctions. Beijing slapped On a total of 10 UK organizations and individuals in March in response to British sanctions against Chinese officials linked to human rights abuses in Xinjiang. The Chinese government said British officials were punished for spreading “lies and disinformation” about the situation in Xinjiang.

British MPs wrote to Hoyle after their meeting, urging “to consider the implications of the visit for all parliamentarians who must raise their voices as part of their role in the democratic system that we all cherish”.

“I do not see fit for the Chinese ambassador to meet on Commons land and at our workplace when his country imposes sanctions on some of our members,” Hoyle said after meeting with Secretary of State Dominic Raab on Tuesday. “

The ambassador will be barred from both the House of Commons and the House of Lords as sanctions continue.

Relations between China and the UK have soured in recent years due to Beijing’s crackdown on Hong Kong, tech giant Huawei, and media reports of human rights abuses against the Uyghur minority in Xinjiang. At the same time, the UK is trying to persuade China to approve its ambitious climate plans at this year’s COP26 summit in Glasgow.

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