UNISON [Ireland]: Govt slammed over controversial Chinese visit

Friday August 31st 2001

Green Party MEP Patricia McKenna has described the Irish Government's hospitality towards Chinese Prime Minister Zhu Rongjhu as "disgraceful". The Chinese Premier is due to visit Ireland next week and will stay in the £40m Farmleigh House at the expense of the Irish taxpayer. Ms McKenna said the Government should be condemning the Chinese leader, but instead "it seems that they are putting the commercial interests and business interests above the interests of human rights".

"It is disgraceful that the Government has actually invited him here at the State's expense in the first place," Ms McKenna said, "but I think now that that has happened, pressure has to be put on the Government to demand answers in relation to human rights issues in China." The current regime in China has drawn international condemnation for its invasion of Tibet and the subsequent treatment of Tibetan religious leaders and its treatment of the spiritual Falun Gong movement, which has seen hundreds of its members tortured to death in Chinese labour camps.[...]


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