Chinese Ambassador to UK Banned from British Parliament

Speakers of the House of Commons and House of Lords in the United Kingdom have temporarily banned Chinese ambassador to the UK Zheng Zeguang from the British parliament.

Commons Speaker Sir Lindsay Hoyle said that the meeting Zeguang was due to attend with an all-party group on China at the House of Commons was inappropriate due to the sanctions China imposed on some members of the UK parliament (MPs).

“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,” Hoyle told British newspaper The Daily Telegraph.

“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,” Holye further said.

Lords Speaker John McFall endorsed a similar decision, with his spokesperson telling The Daily Telegraph that the meeting “should take place elsewhere.”

The decision came after Hoyle met a group of MPs last week who urged him in a letter to ban the ambassador from the parliamentary estate until the sanctions are lifted.

A Chinese embassy spokesperson condemned the ban, calling it “a shortsighted, reckless, and cowardly move.”

The embassy spokesperson said that the UK parliament was “disregarding the fundamental interest of the Chinese and British people and ignoring international protocol” and warned that MPs “would only make things worse for themselves” if they do not stop “playing political tricks.”

China imposed the sanctions last March after the UK government sanctioned Chinese officials that it had identified as responsible for the human rights violations of ethnic minority Uyghurs in the northwestern Chinese province of Xinjiang.

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