China’s ambassador stopped from attending event at House of Commons due to Beijing’s sanctions on UK lawmakers
ANKARA (AA) – Beijing on Wednesday said it “strongly condemns” the UK’s decision to bar China’s ambassador from the British Parliament.
“China strongly condemns UK Parliament’s decision banning Chinese ambassador to UK from attending events,” Zhao Lijian, spokesman for China’s Foreign Ministry, told a news conference in Beijing, according to daily Global Times.
“China also demands the UK to immediately revoke its wrong decision and earnestly restrain the words and deeds of some members of parliament.”
Ambassador Zheng Zeguang was due to attend an event on Wednesday hosted by the all-party group on China, but was told on Tuesday that he cannot come as long as China has sanctions on British lawmakers.
Beijing sanctioned 10 UK organizations and individuals in March for spreading “lies and disinformation” about alleged human rights violations against Uyghur Muslims in Xinjiang province.
Along with two members of the House of Lords, the sanctions targeted former Conservative Party leader Iain Duncan-Smith and party members Tom Tugendhat, Nus Ghani, Neil O’Brien, and Tim Loughton.
The five Conservative lawmakers have been spearheading a campaign calling for sanctions on China for alleged human rights abuses against the Uyghurs.
Sir Lindsay Hoyle, speaker of the House of Commons, said the matter could have been avoided if China revoked the sanctions.
“I do not feel it’s appropriate for the ambassador for China to meet on the Commons estate and in our place of work when his country has imposed sanctions against some of our members,” he said.
“If those sanctions were lifted, then of course this would not be an issue. I am not saying the meeting cannot go ahead. I am just saying it cannot take place here while those sanctions remain in place.”