Multiple reports, originating in Politico, indicated on Friday that the British House of Commons prevented a delegation representing the Chinese Communist Party from entering Westminster Hall to visit Queen Elizabeth II lying in state.
The British government formally invited Chinese representatives to the queen’s funeral — and, notably, did not invite the Taiwanese government to attend the event, consistent with Beijing’s demands for diplomatic ties — but the bilateral relationship has deteriorated significantly in light of London recognizing the Uyghur genocide under dictator Xi Jinping as a genocide last year. Historically, Britain’s presence in Hong Kong has long upset Chinese communists and, conversely, British politicians and human rights activists have denounced the violent crackdown on pro-democracy activists in the city following millions-strong protests against communism in 2019.
Under China’s illegal “national security” provisions over Hong Kong, residents have been arrested for waving British flags and supporting British soccer clubs.
Queen Elizabeth’s funeral is expected to be the most-watched event in the history of television. The viewing currently underway at Westminster, meanwhile, is believed to have attracted thousands of people. The line of subjects waiting to honor Britain’s longest-serving monarch stretched nearly five miles as of Thursday, resulting in many expected to wait nearly a day to participate in the event.