London The diplomatic row over mutual sanctions between Great Britain and China is nearing a climax. The Daily Telegraph and the BBC reported on Tuesday that Parliament in London had denied entry to Chinese Ambassador Zheng Ziguang. Cheng was supposed to attend a reception in the House of Commons on Wednesday.
The move comes on the heels of Chinese sanctions against several British MPs after Great Britain – along with the European Union, USA and Canada – initially imposed punitive measures against those responsible for the suppression of the Uyghur Muslim minority in the Xinjiang region.
The Speaker of the House of Commons, Lindsey Hoyle, stressed that it was not appropriate to receive the Chinese ambassador in Parliament “if his country is imposing sanctions on some of our members.” The British Foreign Office indicated that Parliament was independent in its decisions.
The parliamentarians concerned had previously written to Hoyle and the Speaker of the House of Lords, John Macphale, that the Chinese approach was an attack on the whole of Parliament. “It is therefore inconceivable that Parliamentarians should suffer this infringement of our liberties while the principal representative of the Chinese Government in Great Britain appears to still be free to come to Westminster and use the facilities here as the spokesman for his regime.”
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