Chinese regional governor calls off Europe and the UK tour

Chinese regional governor calls off Europe and the UK tour

The Governor of the western Chinese region of Xinjiang has cancelled a trip to the EU after the visit became the focus of tensions between European capitals and China.

Erkin Tuniyaz is also no longer visiting the UK this week, amid a backlash over how the Chinese region is run.

Britain said that if Mr Tuniyaz had visited this week, officials would have raised concern over the situation in Xinjiang. But those plans faced backlash from the Conservative Party backbenches.

The European External Action Service said that the Chinese mission in Brussels has confirmed the trip has been postponed.

All eyes will now be on whether or not the US Secretary of State Antony Blinken will meet Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi later this week, when both attend the Munich Security Conference.

Tensions spiked last year after a visit by then House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to Taiwan, the territory claimed by Beijing which carried out major military exercises in response.

Pelosi’s Republican successor Kevin McCarthy has said he will also visit Taiwan, which the US supports through military sales but does not recognise.

Wendy Sherman, the deputy secretary of state, said the US would continue to “assist Taiwan” and expressed hope that China would not use a visit to the island by a member of Congress as “a pretext for military action”.

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