Chinese Vice President Wang Qishan (王岐山) plans to attend the funeral of Queen Elizabeth II as the special representative of Chinese President Xi Jinping (習近平), Beijing said yesterday.
A group of British legislators hit by Chinese sanctions have expressed concern that the Chinese government has been invited to the funeral. One told the BBC that the invitation should be rescinded because of human rights abuses against the Uighur ethnic group in China’s far-western Xinjiang region.
Wang, who is close to Xi, was a member of the Chinese Communist Party’s seven-member Politburo Standing Committee from 2012 to 2017. During those years, he led a crackdown on corruption that has been one of Xi’s signature initiatives.
Wang was named to the largely ceremonial post of vice president in 2018, and often attends events on Xi’s behalf.
Meanwhile, Japanese Emperor Naruhito and Empress Masako left for Britain yesterday to attend the funeral to pay respects to the late queen and the British royal family, who are considered to be a model for Japan’s modern monarchy.
The decision for the emperor and empress to attend the queen’s funeral underscores the deep bond between the royal families and the importance of their relationship.
Traditionally, a Japanese emperor avoids funerals except for those of their own parents, based on a cultural belief originating in the Shinto religion that considers death impure.
Former emperor Akihito, as crown prince, attended the queen’s 1953 coronation and her Diamond Jubilee in 2012. Queen Elizabeth II visited Japan in 1975.
Naruhito and Masako’s trip to Britain is their first as the emperor and empress. The queen’s invitation for them to visit following Naruhito’s 2019 ascension to the Chrysanthemum Throne had to be postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
All eight of Elizabeth’s grandchildren were to stand vigil around her coffin yesterday.
Members of the public who had lined up for hours to pay their last respects continued to file past as King Charles III and his siblings stood vigil in the historic event on Friday.
IF THE CHIPS ARE DOWN: The US secretary of state warned that a disruption to the supply of Taiwanese semiconductors would play havoc with the global economy If Taiwan were attacked, the global economy would face devastation, as that is where most of the world’s semiconductors are produced, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said on Sunday. In an interview that aired on the 60 Minutes television program, Blinken was asked whether instability across the Taiwan Strait would be felt around the world. Blinken said that China has been increasingly aggressive against Taiwan, posing a threat to peace and stability in the region, while economically the world would feel the effects of such aggression. Blinken was interviewed for the program after meeting with Chinese Minister of Foreign Affairs Wang Yi
‘ABSURD’: UN Resolution 2758 expelled the Chiang Kai-Shek government without mentioning Taipei, something the Chinese minister did not acknowledge, Taipei said Taiwan yesterday criticized Chinese Minister of Foreign Affairs Wang Yi (王毅) for “intentionally misinterpreting” a 1971 UN resolution to misrepresent Taiwan’s status to the global community. In his address on Saturday to the UN General Assembly, Wang cited Resolution 2758 as a basis for Beijing’s claim that Taiwan is part of China. He said that Beijing considers Taiwan an “inseparable part of China’s territory since ancient times.” “Only when China is completely reunified can there be enduring peace across the Taiwan Strait... Any move to obstruct China’s reunification is bound to be crushed by the wheels of history,” Wang said. General Assembly Resolution 2758
MORE ARRIVALS ALLOWED: Taiwan yesterday increased its cap on arrivals to 60,000 from 50,000 ahead of a full border opening with a weekly cap of 150,000 on Oct. 13 Travelers arriving in Taiwan from Oct. 13 would no longer be required to quarantine on arrival and visitors of all nationalities would be allowed to enter, Premier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) announced yesterday. However, the number of arrivals would be capped at 150,000 per week, he added. Travelers aged two or older would be given four rapid antigen COVID-19 test kits on arrival and be asked to monitor their health for seven days, Cabinet spokesman Lo Ping-cheng (羅秉成) told a news conference. Under the new arrival protocol, travelers would have to take a test on the day of arrival or the day after, followed
The UK is determined to work with its allies to ensure that Taiwan can defend itself, British Prime Minister Liz Truss said on Sunday, a pledge that drew expressions of gratitude from Taipei. “What I’ve been clear about is that all of our allies need to make sure Taiwan is able to defend itself, and that is very, very important,” Truss said in a CNN interview, when asked whether the UK was willing to match the US’ pledge last week to defend Taiwan militarily in the event of an attack by China. Truss said her government was working with its G7 allies,