China news: Despicable! Row erupts as Beijing ambassador to UK banned | UK | News
Beijing called the move a “despicable and cowardly” act that will harm British interests. An invitation for Zheng Zeguang to visit the House of Commons was revoked after MPs and peers have been placed under sanctions by Beijing. The Chinese ambassador to the UK, called Zheng Zeguang, was not allowed to enter the House of Commons for a reception scheduled for Wednesday.
The Commons speaker said it was due to seven British parliamentarians being under sanctions from Beijing.
Mr Zeguang wished to attend the Commons terrace pavilion overlooking the Thames.
Sir Lindsay Hoyle, the Commons speaker, argued the ambassador’s attendance would not be “appropriate”.
Sir Iain Duncan Smith welcomed the “strong principled stand” taken by the Speaker.
However, Richard Graham, the Tory MP who chairs the all-party parliamentary group (APPG) on China, said it was regretful that the event would now be postponed.
Beijing then struck back with fury and said: “The despicable and cowardly action of certain individuals of the UK Parliament to obstruct normal exchanges and cooperation between China and the UK for personal political gains is against the wishes and harmful to the interests of the peoples of both countries.”
However, Sir Lindsay said: “I do not feel it’s appropriate for the ambassador for China to meet on the Commons estate and in our place of work.
“It is not acceptable to do this when his country has imposed sanctions against some of our members.
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He said in a joint statement with other MPs: “We the sanctioned welcome the strong principled stand made by the Speaker and Lord Speaker in standing up for freedom of speech in the mother of Parliaments by supporting those parliamentarians who have been sanctioned by China.”
China imposed sanctions on seven parliamentarians in March.
These MPs are all vocal critics of Beijing.
They have spoken out against the treatment of the Uighur people in Xinjiang.