China has hit back at the British government after parliamentary authorities banned its delegation from viewing the Queen’s coffin.
All heads of state have been invited to pay their respects to the late monarch at Westminster Hall ahead of her funeral.
Chinese President Xi Jinping was invited to Monday’s event but is instead sending a delegation led by Vice President Wang Qishan.
However, Commons Speaker Lindsay Hoyle rejected a request for the Chinese group to enter the former heartland of British democracy.
Sir Lindsay has argued that Chinese state officials should not be able to enter parliament after sanctioning MPs for condemning human rights abuses against Uyghurs.
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Mao Ning has now issued a response saying the UK should “follow diplomatic protocols and good manners when receiving guests”.
Asked about Liz Truss’ views on the matter, a spokeswoman for No 10 said: ‘Admission to Parliament is a matter for Parliament.
MPs facing reprisals from China, including former Tory leader Iain Duncan Smith and Tim Loughton, criticized the “extraordinary” decision to invite to the funeral.
An insider told POLITICO that the Chinese delegation allowed into Westminster Abbey but not Westminster Lobby would demonstrate that Parliament was “again taking a much tougher stance against Beijing” than the rest of the state.
MI5 had previously issued an unprecedented warning that a suspected Chinese spy had infiltrated Parliament to interfere in British politics and boasted of lobbying “more than 480 MPs”.
And China’s ambassador to the UK, Zheng Zeguang, has been barred from parliament since 2021 after MPs and peers were sanctioned by Beijing.
In a letter to Sir Lindsay earlier this week, Sir Iain and Mr Loughton, along with their cross counterpart Lord Alton and Baroness Kennedy of Labour, warned against the delegation’s access.
“We are very concerned to learn that the Chinese government has been invited to attend the state funeral next week, although other countries, Russia, Belarus and Myanmar are excluded,” they wrote.
“Given that the UK Parliament voted to recognize the genocide committed by the Chinese government against the Uyghur people, it is extraordinary that the architects of this genocide are being treated more favorably than the countries that have been banned.”
Sir Iain said it was ‘amazing’ that Chinese officials were being welcomed at the Queen’s funeral and described it as a ‘plan to bow down again’.
“How can they ban Belarus, Russia and Myanmar and not say no to China?” said the former cabinet minister.
“They have a huge record of human rights abuses, including what we believe to be genocide, the destruction of churches and the persecution of Christians.”