China imposed sanctions on nine politicians, lawyers and a British academic in March for spreading what they said were “lies and misinformation” about the treatment of Muslim Uighurs in the country’s far west.
Lindsay Hoyle, Speaker of the House of Commons, and John McFall, Speaker of the House of Lords, intervened to prevent Zheng Zeguang from speaking at an event in Parliament.
“I hold frequent meetings with ambassadors around the world to establish lasting ties between countries and parliamentarians,” said Hoyle.
“But I don’t feel that it’s appropriate for China’s ambassador to appear at the (House) of 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: Aysha Khan/RNS via AP
China Reacts: ‘Despicable and Cowardly Action’
A Chinese embassy spokesman criticized the move.
“The despicable and cowardly action of certain individuals in the UK Parliament to obstruct normal exchanges and cooperation between China and the UK for personal political gain is against the wishes and detrimental to the interests of the peoples of both countries,” he said. a Chinese statement.
Hoyle said he was not banning the Chinese representative permanently, but only as long as sanctions are in effect.
Richard Graham, chairman of a parliamentary group on China, sent Zeguang an invitation over the summer, according to the Daily Telegraph newspaper. Graham did not respond to a request for comment and the parliamentary group declined to comment.
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