Chinese Ambassador To Uk Barred From Parliament Following Sanctions On  British Mps

Chinese Ambassador To Uk Barred From Parliament Following Sanctions On British Mps

By Tony O’ Riley-

The new Chinese ambassador to the UK has been barred from parliament by the Speakers in the Commons and Lords following  the imposition of sanctions on British MPs by Beijing.

Zheng Zegnang was officially banned from attending the UK Parliament after his government imposed sanctions against five Britsh MPs, considered to be very unfair and unjustified.

A scheduled attendance by Zheng Zeguang at The House  of Commons reception on Wednesday, hosted by the All-Party Parliamentary Group on China ,was cancelled following strong objections from Speaker Sir Lindsay Hoyle and Lord Speaker Lord McFall ruled this The news was first reported by the Daily Telegraph, and will put pressure o  the already strained relationship between London and Beijing

In March, China imposed travel bans and asset freezes on five MPs and two peers whom it accused of propagating  lies about the country.

 

Last week, the five affected  Conservative MPs who were sanctioned – Sir Iain Duncan-Smith, Tom Tugendhat, Nusrat Ghani, Neil O’Brien and Tim Loughton – wrote to the speaker to air

They said: “The sanctions imposed by the Chinese government represent an attack not just on members directly targeted but on Parliament, all parliamentarians, select committees, and parliamentary privilege.”

“We should never allow our place of work to become a platform to validate and promote such sanctions.

“We know that this is a view shared by a great many Right Honourable and Honourable Members who will wish their protests to be heard if this visit is to go ahead.”

They added: “It is unthinkable therefore that parliamentarians should have to suffer this infringement on our liberties whilst the prime representative of the Chinese government in the UK is still apparently free to come to Westminster and to use facilities here as a mouthpiece for his regime.”The speaker sought the advice of the foreign secretary, Dominic Raab, but the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office said the decision was a matter for the Speaker, and not the government.

Hoyle said the ban was not permanent , but rather would be in place for as long as the sanctions remain. China imposed sanctions on MPs and academics in March after allegedly  identiying the MPs as allegedly  being  responsible for the suppression of the rights of the Uyghur people in Xin.

In a statement, the Lords Speaker said: “The Speakers of both houses are in agreement that this particular all-party parliamentary group China meeting should take place elsewhere considering the current sanctions against members including two members of the Lords.”

The union flag and the flag of the People’s Republic of China.
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In their letter, the MPs argued: “The Chinese government has so far made no attempt to reverse the sanctions, which are a tool to criminalise individuals and limit their freedom internationally. Indeed the Chinese government has taken steps to give legal force to the sanctions rendering us potentially vulnerable to prosecution by the Chinese authorities.”

The letter was signed by Duncan Smith, Tim Loughton, Nusrat Ghani and the chair of the foreign affairs select committee, Tom Tugendhat.

They said it was unthinkable for the prime representative of the Chinese government to be free to come to Westminster and to use its facilities as a mouthpiece for his regime. They suggested the meeting of the all-party group could go ahead at the Chinese

Hoyle met a group of the affected MPs last week and the group  subsequently  sent a letter in which they urged him to consider “the implications of the visit for all parliamentarians who need to be able to speak out as part of their duties in the democratic system we all cherish

In statement, the Lords Speaker said: “The Speakers of both houses are in agreement that this particular all-party parliamentary group China meeting should take place elsewhere considering the current sanctions against members including two members

The Chinese embassy has been contacted for comment. The move comes at a sensitive time in UK-China relations as UK seeks China’s endorsement of ambitious carbon-reduction targets at the UK-chaired Cop26 climate conference in Glasgow.

In their letter, the MPs argued: “The Chinese government has so far made no attempt to reverse the sanctions, which are a tool to criminalise individuals and limit their freedom internationally. Indeed the Chinese government has taken steps to give legal force to the sanctions rendering us potentially vulnerable to prosecution by the Chinese authorities.”

The letter was signed by Duncan Smith, Tim Loughton, Nusrat Ghani and the chair of the foreign affairs select committee, Tom Tugendhat.

They said it was unthinkable for the prime representative of the Chinese government to be free to come to Westminster and to use its facilities as a mouthpiece for his regime. They suggested the meeting of the all-party group could go ahead at the Chinese embassy if necessary.

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