Zheng Zeguang had a virtual audience with the Queen on his appointment as ambassador in July. (Getty Images)
LONDON: China’s ambassador to the UK has been told he cannot come to Parliament while sanctions remain in place against a number of MPs and peers, BBC reports.
Ambassador Zheng Zeguang was due to attend a Commons reception on Wednesday, hosted by the all-party group on China.
But after protests, Speaker Sir Lindsay Hoyle and Lord Speaker Lord McFall ruled this out, the report said.
The Chinese Embassy, meanwhile, said it was a “despicable and cowardly” decision that would harm both countries’ interests.
The ban comes at a time when tensions between the two governments are high.
In March, China imposed travel bans and asset freezes on five MPs and two peers whom it accused of spreading lies about the country, according to BBC.
This was in response to the UK’s decision to impose its first sanctions against Chinese officials for human rights abuses in Xinjiang.
(With inputs from BBC)