President McAleese departs on visit to China
The President, Ms McAleese, departs today on an historic nine-day state visit to China.
She will be accompanied by 174 business people representing 82 Irish companies in what is the largest ever Irish trade mission to travel abroad.
President McAleese will receive a ceremonial welcome from President Hu Jintao and will meet Premier Wen Jiabao and other political leaders.
She will address business forums in Beijing and Shanghai with a view to exploring cooperation and trade between the two countries.
The Minister for Education Mr Dempsey will accompany Mrs McAleese throughout her trip.