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Chinese president’s special representative attends Queen Elizabeth II’s funeral in Britain

(Photo by Yui Mok / POOL / AFP)

President Xi Jinping’s Special Representative and Vice-President Wang Qishan attended the funeral of Queen Elizabeth II at the invitation of the British government, and spoke highly of her contributions to bilateral ties.

On Monday, Wang joined a host of world leaders, royalty and other dignitaries to attend the queen’s state funeral at Westminster Abbey. He visited the Houses of Parliament on Sunday afternoon to pay tribute to the queen’s lying in state.

Wang said Xi had sent him to attend the funeral at a time when the whole of Britain was in mourning. This fully demonstrates the goodwill of the Chinese president, government and people for the British royal family, government and people, Wang said.

As the longest-reigning British monarch who had witnessed the times of change, the queen was a symbol of the country’s national spirit and cohesion, and was deeply loved by the British people, Wang said.

The queen had also made important contributions to the development of bilateral relations, said Wang, conveying condolences from Xi, the Chinese government and the Chinese people.

King Charles III conveyed a verbal message to the Chinese side, welcoming and expressing his appreciation for Wang’s attendance at the funeral as President Xi’s special representative.

The British royal family values their friendship with the Chinese leadership very much, attaches importance to the development of relations with China, and hopes to continue cooperation with the Chinese side in various fields, including sustainable development, the king said.

On behalf of the British government, Deputy Prime Minister Therese Coffey thanked Wang for attending the funeral, and said the queen had always attached importance to ties with China. The new British government hopes to strengthen cooperation with China in trade, environmental protection, climate change and multilateral affairs, Coffey said.

Some 250,000 mourners filed past the queen’s coffin at Westminster Hall in London during her lying in state, Michelle Donelan, British culture minister, said on Tuesday.

People of all ages and from all walks of life attended the lying in state for the late monarch, who died in Scotland on Sept 8 at the age of 96 after a 70-year reign.

British Prime Minister Liz Truss said the death of the queen is a “very difficult moment” for the country, and acknowledged that dealing with it has been a challenge for her untested new government.

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