IRISH TIMES: Taoiseach, President press rights issues

By Deaglán de Bréadún, Foreign Affairs Correspondent
September 4, 2001

Forceful interventions on human rights issues and the situation in Tibet have been made by the Taoiseach, Mr Ahern, and by the President, Mrs McAleese, on the second day of the four-day official visit to Ireland by the Chinese Premier, Mr Zhu Rongji.

Trade matters and common interests on the United Nations Security Council were also discussed.

The Taoiseach surprised some observers by repeatedly stressing the need for stricter Chinese adherence to universal standards of human rights. He specifically highlighted the case of Mr Zhao Ming, a postgraduate student at Trinity College Dublin and follower of the Falun Gong spiritual movement, who is currently detained without trial in China.

Mr Ahern extracted a promise from the Premier that he would inquire about the case, although Mr Zhu also denounced Falun Gong as an [Jiang Zemin government's slanderous term omitted]. [...]

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