UK Parliament Bars China's Ambassador Over Sanctions Against British MPs.

UK Parliament Bars China's Ambassador Over Sanctions Against British MPs

Leaders in UK parliament stopped a visit by China's new ambassador. (File)

London:

Leaders in the UK parliament on Tuesday barred a visit by China's new ambassador after Beijing slapped sanctions against critical British MPs.

Envoy Zheng Zeguang was due Wednesday to address a group of members drawn from both the houses of Commons and Lords who work on promoting UK-China relations.

But Iain Duncan Smith -- one of nine UK MPs and individuals sanctioned by China for opposing Communist Party policies, particularly those affecting Uyghurs in the northwest region of Xinjiang -- had said the visit would be "reprehensible".

Among the sanctions imposed on the parliamentarians and their family members in March were a travel ban prohibiting them from entering mainland China or the former UK colony of Hong Kong.

China's sanctions against the MPs came shortly after Britain -along with the United States, Canada and European Union -placed sanctions on Chinese officials deemed responsible for human rights abuses in Xinjiang.

Duncan Smith and others on the sanctions list wrote to Lindsay Hoyle, Speaker of the House of Commons, demanding he bar Zheng from speaking on parliamentary premises.

In a statement, Hoyle responded by noting he regularly met with ambassadors from around the world to further ties with MPs.

"But 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."

Speaker of the House of Lords John McFall issued similar language.

'Despicable and cowardly action'

A Chinese embassy spokesperson said it was up to the UK sponsors of the event in parliament to decide on a date and venue.

More broadly, the spokesperson attacked the "despicable and cowardly action of certain individuals of the UK parliament to obstruct normal exchanges and cooperation between China and the UK".

But Duncan Smith and some of his sanctioned colleagues welcomed the "strong principled stand" taken by the speakers, arguing that allowing the visit would have been "an insult to parliament".

Zheng's predecessor Liu Xiaoming, one of a new breed of "wolf warrior" diplomats deployed by Beijing, was noted for inflammatory language on social media attacking UK critics of Chinese policies.

Richard Graham, Conservative chairman of the UK all-party parliamentary group on China, had expressed hope that Zheng would take a "slightly more nuanced approach to his role than his predecessor".

He expressed "regret" at Hoyle's decision and said the group would make new arrangements to hear from the ambassador.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

NDTV News

NDTV.com provides latest news from India and the world. Get today’s news headlines from Business, Technology, Bollywood, Cricket, videos, photos, live news coverage and exclusive breaking news from India.

https://www.ndtv.com/

Related news

France's Sanofi Halts Work On mRNA COVID-19 Vaccine.

French pharmaceutical giant Sanofi said Tuesday it was stopping work on an mRNA vaccine against Covid-19 despite positive test results as it lags behind rivals on producing a coronavirus shot.

NDTV News

In Full: Trevor Phillips On Sunday

In Full: Trevor Phillips On Sunday

Trevor Phillips talks to Angela Rayner and Transport Secretary Grant Shapps on the visa relaxation agreed for drivers following supply concerns and warnings across business. Other guests in Brighton for Labour Conference includes Labour MP John Mc...

UK to hire to foreign truck drivers amid Brexit supply shortages - DW News.

UK to hire to foreign truck drivers amid Brexit supply shortages - DW News.

Britain says it will issue thousands of emergency visas to foreign truck drivers to help ease supply chain problems that have led to fuel rationing and empty shelves at supermarkets. In the aftermath of Brexit, thousands of foreign drivers left th...

VA mom goes viral for confronting school board over explicit books.

VA mom goes viral for confronting school board over explicit books.

Stacy Langton, a mother of six, raises questions about who decides what books are approved for public school libraries. #FoxNews Subscribe to Fox News! Watch more Fox News Video: Watch Fox News Channel Live: FOX News Channel (FNC) is a 24-hour all...

1 1167

Sky News Breakfast: Anthony Joshua loses his belts

Sky News Breakfast: Anthony Joshua loses his belts

On Sunday 26th September: - Visa rules set to change to allow HGV drivers from the EU to enter the UK until Christmas - Boxer Anthony Joshua unexpectedly loses his bout with opponent Oleksandr Usyk - And marathon runner Ella Rothwell on her mammot...

La Palma volcano opens new vent, threatens to collapse - DW News.

La Palma volcano opens new vent, threatens to collapse - DW News.

Eruptions from a volcano on the Spanish island of La Palma have intensified, with a new vent opening up, releasing more lava. More than 400 homes have been destroyed so far. Ash and dust from the new fissure have forced the island's authorities to...

1 515

Vladimir Putin shows off ‘macho’ holiday hunting bears and fishing amid COVID fears in inner circle.

Vladimir Putin shows off ‘macho’ holiday hunting bears and fishing amid COVID fears in inner circle.

RUSSIAN strongman leader Vladimir Putin is featured in new images showing him in the wilds of Siberia — amid fears over health after his inner circle caught Covid. The action-man-style videos showing the president hunting bears and fishing are und...