China criticizes the United Kingdom’s decision to expel the ambassador as “shortsighted, reckless, and cowardly.”
China has informed the United Kingdom. After its new ambassador was prevented from attending events on parliamentary premises due to Beijing’s sanctions against British people and elected officials, Parliament was ordered to “rein in” its legislators.
The Chinese Embassy in the United Kingdom has issued a statement in response to the restriction. In a statement on its website, it called the decision “shortsighted, dangerous, and cowardly,” and claimed the sanctions imposed on British people in March were “absolutely justified and proportionate.”
“It was a necessary response to those who propagate false information and falsehoods about China’s Xinjiang, as well as the United Kingdom’s unilateral sanctions against key personnel and organizations in China. under the guise of Xinjiang-related issues,” it continued.
On Wednesday evening, Chinese envoy Zheng Zeguang, who took office in June, was scheduled to attend a summer reception sponsored by the All-Party Parliamentary China Group (AAPG).
After both lower and upper house speakers determined Zheng should not be allowed onto the parliamentary estate while sanctions against British MPs and others were in place, the event at the House of Commons, on the Terrace Pavilion overlooking the River Thames, was canceled.
Britain has coordinated sanctions on four senior individuals and one entity in Xinjiang, together with Canada, the United States, and the European Union, for what it described as “grave human rights breaches” against Uyghur Muslims and other minorities in northern China.
Beijing has responded with retaliatory measures of its own. Conservative MPs Tom Tugendhat, Iain Duncan Smith, Neil O’Brien, Tim Loughton, and Nusrat Ghani, as well as Labour’s Helena Kennedy and House of Lords crossbencher David Alton, were among ten British people barred from entering China or doing business with Chinese enterprises.
Last Monday, parliamentarians wrote to Commons Speaker Lindsay Hoyle and Lord Speaker John McFall, requesting that Zheng’s attendance be reviewed and reconsidered.
On Tuesday, Hoyle told The Daily Telegraph that “for the Chinese ambassador to meet on the Commons estate and at our place of employment while his country has placed sanctions against some of our members” was inappropriate.
“Of course, if the restrictions were lifted, this would not be an issue. I’m not implying that the meeting can’t take place. I’m just saying it can’t happen right now. This is a condensed version of the information.