Is China mocking UK with choice of official to be at King Charles’ coronation?

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King Charles’ Coronation: Han Zheng was in charge of Hong Kong affairs for the Chinese government between 2018 and March 2023.

China’s vice-president, who oversaw the Hong Kong crackdown, is expected to attend King Charles’ coronation in the UK, a move likely to anger British critics of Beijing. Han Zheng, recently-appointed deputy to China’s President ceremony in May, it was reported.

Han Zheng was in charge of Hong Kong affairs for the Chinese government between 2018 and March 2023. His predecessor, Wang Qishan, attended the late Queen Elizabeth II’s funeral in September. China’s crackdown on rights in Hong Kong since 2019 led to a deterioration in relations with the UK and Western countries. Following Beijing’s crackdown, UK launched a visa scheme to give Hong Kongers the right to come to Britain.

Hong Kong which was handed back to China from British control in 1997 follows Beijing’s unique “one country, two systems” principle. In 2019, Han Zheng proposed an extradition bill that could potentially allow Hong Kong suspects to be sent for trial in China. The move triggered widespread pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong following which China passed a national security law making it easier to prosecute protesters. Beijing, therefore, reduced Hong Kong’s autonomy, resulting in international outcry.

The report comes as UK’s Foreign Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) extended coronation invitations to all heads of state of countries with which the UK has full diplomatic relations. Although Xi Jinping is not expected to attend the coronation.