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Huanqiu: British All-Party Parliamentary China Group Cancelled Visit to China after a Visa Ban

According to Huanqiu, at the last minute, the British All-Party Parliamentary China Group cancelled a visit to China originally scheduled for November 25 because the Chinese Embassy in the UK refused to grant a visa to one of the MPs who was scheduled to go. Richard Graham, head of the All-Party Parliamentary China Group and a former diplomat in Beijing and Macau in the 1980s had defended Hong Kong’s autonomy. After the Chinese Embassy requested that Graham make a statement clarifying his thinking on Hong Kong’s Occupy Central, Graham did not do so and was therefore denied a visa.

Zhou Hong, Member of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, said to a reporter from Huanqiu, “The fact that a British MP delivered a speech to support (Hong Kong’s) “Occupy Central” campaign has violated China’s core interests. The Chinese government does not allow any actions to split China. It is beyond doubt that we have refused to issue a visa to him.”  

[Editor’s note: In a parliamentary debate, Graham is reported to have said that Britain has a duty to uphold the principles of the 1984 joint declaration by Britain and China, which paved the way for the return of Hong Kong to China in 1997. He also spoke of the freedom enshrined in that declaration.]

Source: Huanqiu, November 26, 2014