A group of MPs and peers sanctioned by China have expressed serious concerns about the Chinese Government being invited to the Queen’s funeral.
Senior Tory MPs Tim Loughton and Sir Iain Duncan Smith wrote this week to the Commons Speaker and Lord Speaker, calling it “extraordinary” that Chinese representatives should have received an invitation.
The letter to Sir Lindsay Hoyle from Tory politicians, also signed by crossbench peer Lord Alton and Labour peer Baroness Kennedy, said: “We are greatly concerned to hear that the Government of China has been invited to attend the state funeral next week, despite other countries Russia, Belarus and Myanmar being excluded.
“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.”
The event will see around 500 dignitaries from around the world descend on London to pay their last respects to the long-reigning monarch.
On Saturday (17 September), Parliament confirmed that Chinese officials would be allowed to pay their respects at the Queen’s lying-in-state at Westminster Hall.
But will countries like China and Russia have representatives at the Queen’s state funeral?
Here is everything you need to know.
Will China have representatives at the Queen’s funeral?
The Chinese Government is reportedly considering sending a delegation to the funeral on Monday (19 September) in Westminster Abbey but it is unclear whether President Xi Jinping will attend.
The Chinese leader this week met with Russian President Vladimir Putin at a summit in Uzbekistan.
Chinese vice-president Wang Qishan is expected to attend, the South China Morning Post reported, citing diplomatic sources.
It was reported that the official delegation from China was banned from attending the Queen’s lying in state, however, officials have now been allowed to attend.
A group of MPs and peers sanctioned by China had expressed serious concerns over the country’s representation at the state funeral.
It was reported by Politico, that the delegates had been refused permission by Commons authorities to attend the lying-in-state after an intervention by the Speaker.
Sir Lindsay Hoyle reportedly told colleagues he declined a request for the delegation to be allowed access to Westminster Hall, where crowds continue to pay their respects to the Queen ahead of her funeral on Monday.
In a report from the BBC, a Parliamentary spokesman said “The head of states (or their representatives) who have been invited to attend the state funeral in Westminster Abbey are also invited to attend the lying-in-state in Westminster Hall.”
The UN recently published an assessment of human rights concerns linked with the Xinjiang region of China, and concluded “serious” violations had been committed there linked to Beijing’s so-called counter-terror and counter-extremism policies.
Will Russia be represented at the funeral?
Invitations to the Queen’s state funeral have not been sent to Russia, Belarus or Myanmar, while Iran will only be represented at an ambassadorial level, it is understood.
Russia is continuing its onslaught on Ukraine, while Belarus has supported its neighbour in the invasion; in Myanmar, the military seized power in a coup last year.
It is not thought the trip will be made by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, who took time out from organising his country’s fightback against Vladimir Putin’s forces to sign a book of condolence for the Queen.