Thursday, July 15, 2004


Ireland's Ethical Foreign policy - and Europe's

It felt like I was the only person in Ireland to feel a bit soiled when our head of state, President Mary McAleese - universally feted for her integrity, sensitivity etc. - went hooring for Irish business in China last year, prostrating herself, and by extension her country, before the dictatorship and wrapping things up with a pleasent evening watching Riverdance in The Great Hall of the People.

Tiananmen Square recedes in the popular memory, but the Chinese regime continues to threaten democratic Taiwan, to resist deomcracy in Hong Kong, torture, sorry - "re-educate" - Falun Gong practitioners and preside over myriad other crimes relating to religious and political persecution, suppression of free speech, union-busting, Tibet, etc. etc. etc..

That trip may have been unseemly. This is worse. As Gavin says:

"Trading arms with China serves what purpose exactly? Closer ties are good how? Maybe if China became a reasonable, representative society that respected human rights then such deals could be justified."

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