Chinese Vice-President Wang Qishan signed a condolence book for Queen Elizabeth and stood for a moment of silence in front of the late monarch’s portrait at the British embassy in Beijing on Monday, state news agency Xinhua reported. Photos tweeted by the embassy showed Wang with Britain’s ambassador to China, Caroline Wilson, along with two wreaths – placed in the name of Chinese President Xi Jinping and the Chinese government. Wang is the most senior Chinese official to pay respects to the queen at the embassy. The longest-reigning British monarch died at 96 on Thursday at Balmoral Castle in Scotland, her summer residence. Her eldest son, Charles, was formally proclaimed king of the United Kingdom and other Commonwealth realms. Beijing has yet to announce whether it will send a representative to the queen’s funeral on September 19 at Westminster Abbey in London. Xi sent deep condolences to King Charles and the royal family on Friday, saying the queen had won “widespread praise” during her reign and her death was a huge loss to the British people. Xi also said on Saturday that he was willing to work with King Charles to improve ties between China and Britain in a congratulatory message . Wang on Monday largely repeated that message on behalf of Xi, Beijing and the Chinese people, according to Xinhua. “Queen Elizabeth II was a driving force and contributor to the development of Sino-British relations,” Wang was quoted as saying. “She was the first British monarch to visit China and received many Chinese leaders in the UK, making a positive contribution to the development of Sino-British relations.” The queen made her first trip to mainland China in 1986, visiting a number of sights including the Great Wall and meeting then paramount leader Deng Xiaoping. She then travelled south to Hong Kong , the second time she had visited what was then a British territory after her first trip in 1975. Wang said he hoped Britain would strengthen communication with China and ensure bilateral ties remained “healthy and stable”, according to Xinhua. Xi visited the UK in 2015 , meeting the queen at Buckingham Palace and attending a state dinner. The following year, the queen was caught on camera saying the Chinese delegation had been “very rude” to the British ambassador to China. The British embassy in Beijing declined to comment at the time but said the state visit was “extremely successful”. Before her death, Queen Elizabeth had problems walking and spoke of fatigue after contracting Covid-19 in February. She had missed several events during her Platinum Jubilee earlier this year.