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  • irishtimes.com - Posted: February 20, 2012 @ 7:53 pm

    Mr Xi Comes to Town

    Deaglán de Bréadún

    He wasn’t JFK, Obama or the Queen of England, but maybe the visit of Chinese Vice-President Xi Jinping might be more significant in the long run, who knows? http://www.irishtimes.com/blogs/gallery/2012/02/20/visit-of-chinese-vice-president-xi-jinping/

    Your humble scribe followed him from his emergence onto the tarmac at Shannon at precisely 4.30 pm on Saturday, through his visit to the Lynch family farm in Co Clare to the pomp and ceremony at Dublin  Castle and this morning’s trade and investment forum in the Royal Hospital Kilmainham.

    If the visit produces half the results that Government ministers and officials are predicting, we’ll all be lighting cigars with Chinese banknotes before the end of the decade.

    The star of the show was James Lynch, the farmer in Sixmilebridge who took Mr Xi on a tour of his land. To the latter’s credit, he smiled broadly when told that a newborn heifer calf was being named after him.

    • arbera says:

      As I said elsewhere on these pages basically; how demoralizing it is for Irish Roman Catholics to witness Gilmore, in particular, bowing, scraping and kowtowing with ambassadors from the communist party of China whilst having delivered such an outlandish insult to Ireland’s Roman Catholics by this most dreadful decision to close Ireland’s historic embassy to the Holy See at Rome.
      I, for one, cannot abide the smirk on Eamon Gilmore’s face when he is in his obvious element with a communist party. It haunts me. What is the plan now…….for Ireland’s agriculture to focus on the growing of rice in our heretofore green pastures? Perhaps this is how the problem of flooding in the West and South of Ireland is going to be dealt with?? Gives a whole new meaning to “paddy fields.”

    • barbera says:

      btw I have no problem welcoming a Chinese delegation……in fact they seemed a very gracious group of visitors and much can be learned/gained by different cultures interacting but what absolutely galls me is the hypocrisy of Gilmore and the Labour Party and the utter effrontery of these arrogant upstarts in light of the deplorable decision to close Ireland’s historic embassy to the Holy See at Rome whilst at the same time almost prostrating themselves before members of a communist party from a country that we have almost no historic/religious links with, compared to the Holy See with which we have many

    • Paul says:

      I think you may well be right Deaglán. One of the key things that separates us from the rest of the problem countries on the periphery of Europe is the strength of our exports. If they manage with this visit to lift the ban on beef exports to China that’ll be worth all the fuss alone. China’s role is just gonna get bigger and bigger. Brave new world….

      On a side note, Barbara’s comments did make me wonder though. Why did Eamon Gilmore the leader of a social demo party take the position of foreign affairs? Surely he should have taken a role in reform the country’s economy and a FG’er would have been ideologically a better choice for “selling” Ireland to foreign markets. It’s disappionting.

    • Desmond FitzGerald says:

      I don’t suppose anyone really expected the human rights issue to be raised.

      The cronyism, the ruination of the next two generations for the sake of preserving the wealth of a select section of well connected people who have been allowed to keep all their wealth while passing all their massive debt onto the taxpayer and then to walk away with office holder and public sector pensions and off shore investments and rest of it.

      Mr Xi probably had to bite his tongue and go to his happy place when he had to shake hands with those who have so grossly abused the human rights of so many Irish people who had expected justice to be done to those who had ruined the country but instead he had to take a deep breath and shake hands with the new GUBU crony leadership of Kenny and Gilmore.

      I notice some letters were published from some of the people who wrote to Kenny about the crony salary strokes – I’d be more interested to see what (if any) replies they received as I’m still waiting for a reply to my e-mail to Richard Bruton.

    • cecilia says:

      Whether you like it or not China is a world power and we have to treat it as such (realpolitik). According to the first two posters we should pick our trading partners based on their religious views. In that case we should stop importing Saudi petrol, French cheese etc. I could understand human rights, but religion!

      I’ve lived in Rome. There is no need for 2 embassies, we are a country of 4 million people, now bankrupt. There will still be diplomatic relations with the Holy See including an Ambassador. So the problem is not about this but about a perceived ‘slight’ to the Pope and thereby to Irish Catholics, being expoited by the blueshirts.

      Villa Spada (the embassy to the Holy See) is a beautiful building owned by the Irish state and is much more suited to representing ALL Irish people, not just those of a certain religion. Up to now there has been a ridiculous situation whereby the embassy to Rome was in cramped rented accommodation, changing every few years with related expense, while that to the Holy See occupied a historic builiding (Garibaldi fought there) far too big for it (though overlooking Rome by night it’s great for parties for the nuns and priests of course).

      So let’s hope this nonsense stops soon, I thought Ireland had moved on but obviously there is still a hard core of bigots.

      Gilmore, keep a steady course and don’t give in to the religious nutters!

    • barbera says:

      @ 5 — it is not to do with religious mania as you try to imply with ad hominem sarcasm
      Gilmore’s effrontery is to do with bog-standard diplomatic blundering, which unfortunately our hot tempered Tanaiste seems to excel at and which is plainly obvious when you juxtapose his attitude to the Holy See with his attitude to the communist party of China delegation which betrays bias and a very definite agenda which takes no account of the sensitivities of baptized Irish Roman Catholics.
      Where’s a Taoiseach when you need one????????

    • RPE McCarthy says:

      Cecelia, in fairness to Enda Kenny (a man I rarely speak up for), he was not at the FG parliamentary party and I don’t think it had a lot to do with diplomacy. It has a lot to do with Labour not being able to stay the course on cuts (although some blueshirts have been flaky too).

      Eamon Gilmore has twice so far intervened in national policy for NIMBYist reasons. As the Deputy Taoiseach! In this I am referring to Loughlinstown hospital A&E downgrade and the offshore drilling license in Dublin bay.

      The blueshirts are picking an issue to bring some of the labour backbench agro over DEIS and other unpalatable decisions (see the list of state assets today).

    • barbera says:

      @ 5 — PS Yes, many of us have lived abroad (big deal) and many of us (academics) or our relatives have had residencies at Rome, even at the British School and it was always wonderful to visit the Villa Spada which has always been so special to Irish visitors, whether practising RC or not. However, it is not the building that matters here and even the birds in the air in Dublin and Rome know that the closure of this historic embassy has essentially nothing to do with “economic reasons”; and what kind of utterly foolish diplomacy involves a clearly out-of-his-depth inexperienced minister for foreign affairs of a small country that needs all the diplomatic support it can get, dictating to the Italian Government and the Vatican State as to how they should run their affairs. BL**dy UNBELIEVABLE

    • arbera says:

      Every time I look at Ireland’s list of embassies abroad and look under “V” where there are three embassies now, Vanuatu, Venezuela and Vietnam and our historic embassy to the Vatican, Holy See at Rome is taken out….gone……I am sickened, absolutely sickened. Just look at this list of embassies (see list below)…….I guarantee most people will not have heard of at least half of them, which of course is no reason not to have them…….but to close our most well-known and loved by many, embassy is sickening……absolutely sickening……….this must be reviewed NOW

    • John O'Driscoll says:

      Last I looked China hadn’t invaded nor assisted in the invasion of innocent countries for to steal their oil. Nor, last time I looked, had China done anything to Her own citizens that Ireland hasn’t done to hers, in times as recently as this decade.

      And most importantly, last time I looked, China didn’t boast about having laws that prohibited torture and the facilitation of torture by public officials, nor did She PRoClaim Herself ‘Neutral”.

      Bad and all as China can be, at least She ain’t an hypocrite.

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