China’s Ambassador to the UK Zheng Zeguang has been barred from the UK Parliament over sanctions imposed on some British MPs for his or her remarks on alleged human rights violations in opposition to Uyghur minorities in Xinjiang, triggering an offended condemnation from the Chinese Embassy in London.
Zeguang was resulting from attend a gathering organised by the All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on China lately, however a letter from the sanctioned members of Parliament and House of Commons Speaker Lindsay Hoyle resulted in its cancellation.
The letter flagging the assembly was signed by Conservative Party MPs Ian Duncan Smith, Tim Loughton, Nusrat Ghani and the Chair of the Commons Foreign Affairs Committee Tom Tugendhat – amongst these on the sanctions record.
In their letter, the MPs argued: “The Chinese government has so far made no attempt to reverse the sanctions, which are a tool to criminalise individuals and limit their freedom internationally.
“Indeed, the Chinese authorities has taken steps to present authorized power to the sanctions rendering us probably susceptible to prosecution by the Chinese authorities.”
It is understood that the ban on the Chinese ambassador is not permanent, but while the sanctions existed. The decision was endorsed by House of Lords Speaker John McFall.
“The Speakers of each homes are in settlement that this specific All Party Parliamentary Group China assembly ought to happen elsewhere contemplating the present sanctions in opposition to members together with two members of the Lords,” Lords Speaker Lord McFall said in a statement.
Earlier this year, China had imposed sanctions on British politicians and organisations as a tit-for-tat retaliation over the UK government’s sanctions against Chinese officials for alleged human rights violations against its Uyghur minorities in Xinjiang province.
Commenting on the move to ban its envoy from Parliament, a Chinese Embassy spokesperson said: “The resolution of the UK Parliament displays the slim and parochial mindset of some people within the UK. It is a shortsighted, reckless and cowardly transfer. We despise and strongly condemn this”.
“China’s sanctions on a handful of anti-China parliamentarians of the UK, introduced in March, had been utterly justified and cheap. It was a crucial response to those individuals who unfold slanderous rumours and disinformation about China’s Xinjiang and to the unilateral sanctions on related personnel and establishments in China by the UK aspect on the pretext of Xinjiang-related points,” the spokesperson added.
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