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China’s Vice President Han Zheng is set to attend the Coronation ceremony of King Charles III and Queen Camilla at Westminster Abbey in place of President Xi Jinping on Saturday, May 6.
But the decision has been met with criticism over China’s dubious human rights record. Sir Iain Duncan-Smith has accused the Government of “turning a blind eye” to authoritarian regimes by allowing Mr Han – who was one of the politicians behind China’s crackdown on Hong Kong’s pro-democracy protests in 2019 – to attend.
But Foreign Secretary James Cleverly said the UK could not influence which representative a country chose to send, telling Times Radio: “We don’t invite individuals. What we do is we invite a representative or two representatives from each country with which we have a diplomatic relationship.
“And that includes China, who China sends, indeed, which person any country sends as their representative at the Coronation is rightly a decision for that country.”
Now, a new Express.co.uk poll has shown 78 percent of readers think that the country should not have received an invitation to the historic occasion at all.
The poll, which ran from 10am on Friday, April 28, to 4pm on Wednesday, May 3, asked readers: “Should China be invited to King Charles’s Coronation?”
Overall, 2,523 readers responded, with the vast majority, 78 percent (1,960 people) answering “no” against China being invited. Whereas 21 percent (531 people) said “yes” they should and one percent (32 people) said they did not know either way.
Dozens of comments were left below the accompanying article as readers discussed whether China should have received an invitation to the occasion.
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Many readers argued that China should not have received been invited to send a representative, with username 3downnotout writing: “No, should never have even been considered.”
Another, username Michaelvan, said: “The Coronation is mainly a Commonwealth and British celebration. We don’t need Russia, China and America. Their leaders won’t be missed.”
However, other readers thought that it was right for China to be invited. Username astianax said: “China should be invited to the Coronation. No question asked about it!”
And username ValBrooker said: “The King/Queen is the UK’s primary diplomat, so yes, every opportunity should be taken to improve relationships with the leaders of other countries.”
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