Wednesday, 16 May 2018

Ceisteanna (62)

Willie Penrose

Ceist:

62. Deputy Willie Penrose asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade if he has had discussions with the Chinese ambassador to Ireland; if so, the nature of the meeting; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [21696/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Foreign)

As Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, I maintain contact with China’s Ambassador to Ireland as I do with all the Ambassadors of foreign states.

The Government is strongly committed to further deepening links between Ireland and China at all levels and the Chinese embassy in Dublin plays an important and constructive role in that regard.

I meet the Ambassador regularly at professional engagements as part of the normal course of business of my Department. For example, on 9 May the Ambassador participated in bilateral discussions which I held with Beijing Party Secretary Cai Qi and a number of his colleagues during the Party Secretary’s recent visit to Ireland.

In February 2018, I met by appointment with the Ambassador, primarily to discuss plans for my upcoming visit to China for St Patrick’s Day the following month. A range of other issues were also discussed including the launch of direct flights between Dublin and Beijing, access for Irish beef to the Chinese market and China’s Belt and Road initiative.