China’s VP arrives for Coronation reception despite controversy
Xi Jinping’s “right-hand man” has arrived at King Charles’s glamourous Coronation reception at Buckingham Palace despite the controversy surrounding China’s involvement with the event. Chinese Vice President Han Zheng’s attendance at the Coronation was recently called a “stick in the eye” for 160,000 Hong Kongers in exile in the UK by the last governor of Hong Kong, Lord Chris Patten. Lord Patten also described how China showed it didn’t give “two hoots” about Britain by sending VP Han Zheng.
Han Zheng’s participation in the reception event was confirmed by Beijing yesterday.
He is among leaders from all over the world who have arrived ahead of the Coronation weekend for a reception hosted by King Charles and Queen Camilla.
Before being appointed right-hand man in two months ago, Han was a standing committee member in the Chinese Communist Party’s politburo — Xi Jinping’s inner-most circle consisting only of a handful of delegates.
He also spearheaded the Central Leading Group on Hong Kong and Macau Affairs and has been at the forefront of Beijing’s attempts to tighten control over Hong Kong.
Most notoriously, he was involved in the enactment of a national security bill in 2020 following the Hong Kong protests in 2019, which saw brave Hong Kongers resisting the hand of the CCP.
Talking of China’s decision to send Han, Lord Patten told BBC Radio’s World at One: “It’s an indication of the fact that, however much you grovel to China, however much you try to give them face, they don’t give a toss about giving us face because they could have sent lots of other people.
“They chose to send the guy who’s responsible for breaking their word about Hong Kong.
“If it wasn’t deliberate, then it shows how casually they actually treat us anyway. So, however hard we try to lean over backwards, horizontally sometimes, to accommodate their own political narrative, I don’t think they really give two hoots about us.”
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