Chinese Vice President Wang Qishan will attend British Queen Elizabeth’s funeral at the invitation of the British government, the ministry of foreign affairs said on Saturday.
The BBC reported on Friday that the Chinese delegation visiting London for the queen’s Monday funeral would not be allowed to view her coffin at a lying-in-state vigil inside parliament.
UN holds memorial service for Queen Elizabeth II
Some parliamentarians had raised concerns about inviting representatives from China after several British lawmakers were sanctioned by Beijing for criticising alleged human rights abuses in Xinjiang. China denies any such abuses.
Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Mao Ning said on Friday she had not yet seen the report but that “the state funeral of Queen Elizabeth II is an important event for the United Kingdom”.
“Foreign delegations participating in the event upon invitation from the United Kingdom is a sign of respect to the queen and the importance accorded to (relations with) the United Kingdom,” Mao said.
On Wednesday Britain invited a representative from North Korea to attend Queen Elizabeth’s funeral, but Afghanistan, Syria and Venezuela will not be given an invite, a foreign office source said on Wednesday.
Queen Elizabeth’s funeral will take place in London on September 19, and a host of world leaders, royalty and other dignitaries have already said they will attend.
The invitation for communist North Korea would be at an ambassadorial level, the source said. This means that North Korean leader Kim Jong Un will not attend. Pyongyang has an embassy in West London.
Syria and Venezuela would not be invited because Britain does not currently have diplomatic relations with those states. Afghanistan was not invited due to the current political situation, the source said.
They join Russia, Myanmar and Belarus in not being asked to attend.
Britain’s Queen Elizabeth’s coffin leaves Buckingham Palace to lie in state: Sophie Mokoena