14 Sep. 2021 21:34
Great Britain and China are caught in a spiral of sanctions. The Chinese ambassador was temporarily banned from entering the UK Parliament to attend a reception by the House of Commons parliamentary group for China.
The Chinese Ambassador to Great Britain and former Vice Foreign Minister of the People’s Republic of China Zheng Zeguang is prohibited from entering the British Parliament in the Palace of Westminster in London. That decided according to a report by the BBC House of Commons Speaker Lindsay Hoyle and House of Lords Speaker John McFall on Tuesday.
Zheng has been ordered not to enter the UK Parliament while Chinese sanctions are in place against several UK MPs. On Wednesday, the ambassador was due to attend a reception by the British lower house of the parliamentary group for China. McFalls spokeswoman said that given the current sanctions against MPs, the meeting should be held in a different location.
British-Chinese spiral of sanctions
In March, China imposed travel bans and asset freezes on five MPs and two colleagues. The justification for this step was that they had spread lies about China.
China’s sanctions were, in turn, a reaction to the UK, European Union, US and Canada sanctions against Chinese citizens who are held responsible for the oppression of the Muslim Uyghur minority in China.
The MPs concerned had said in a letter to McFall as follows:
“The sanctions imposed by the Chinese government are not only an attack on the MPs directly affected, but also on parliament, all parliamentarians, the special committees and parliamentary privilege.”
Hoyle confirmed that it would not be appropriate to see the Chinese ambassador in parliament “when his country is imposing sanctions on some of our members”. The UK Foreign Office pointed out that Parliament is independent in its decisions.
A Chinese embassy spokesman’s comment on Tuesday said, among other things, that relations between states must be based on the principles of mutual respect, equality and non-interference in each other’s internal affairs. The Chinese side has always responded decisively to any attempt to violate China’s core interests and will never tolerate it.
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