China should be barred from Coronation, sanctioned parliamentarians say
The Chinese Government should be barred from the King’s Coronation, an MP and peer sanctioned by Beijing have argued.
They warned that a “litany of crimes against humanity” would make China’s attendance unacceptable, and that it would send “confusing and contradictory signals” when the Government sees the country as a threat.
Senior Tory MP and longstanding China-critic Sir Iain Duncan Smith told The Telegraph: “I object to it personally, because I’m sanctioned by them and I think they’re guilty of genocide and a whole litany of crimes against humanity.”
Beijing’s “threats to Taiwan” and “tacit support of Russia” were further reasons Sir Iain said he opposed an invitation for China to the May event.
Crossbench peer Lord Alton told the newspaper: “Putting out the red carpet in every sense is the wrong thing to do.
“From Taiwan, to Tibet, from Hong Kong to Xinjiang and to the increasing direct threats to the security of the UK, these should all be a wake-up call to us.”
He said the Coronation was “the ultimate celebration of our constitutional parliamentary democracy and everything which runs counter to Chinese Communist Party dictatorship”, and that Chinese dignitaries “should not be accorded the usual diplomatic niceties”.
China’s involvement “would send out confusing and contradictory signals,” Lord Alton said.
The West’s relations with Beijing have been further strained by the recent shooting down of an alleged Chinese spy balloon in US airspace earlier this month.
Serious concerns were previously raised when an invitation to the Queen’s funeral was extended to representatives from China in September.
A group of sanctioned parliamentarians, including Sir Iain and Lord Alton, wrote to the Commons and Lord Speakers at the time: “Given that the United Kingdom Parliament has voted to recognise the genocide committed by the Chinese Government against the Uighur people it is extraordinary that the architects of that genocide should be treated in any more favourable way than those countries who have been barred.”
China was ultimately represented by vice-president Wang Qishan at the state funeral, while a delegation from the country also attended the Queen’s lying in state in Westminster Hall.