Senator Katherine Zappone is set to call for a more robust dialogue with China on its human rights record in the Seanad later today, 21st February 2012.
“It is disappointing that Irish authorities did not raise individual cases of human rights abuses with the Chinese vice-president, Xi Jinping, during his visit this week,” says Senator Katherine Zappone.
Ireland is seeking election to the United Nations Human Rights Council later this year. The Taoiseach raised the issue of human rights with the Chinese delegation in this context but individual cases of human rights abuses in China were not discussed.
“Ireland's strengthening relationship with China will bring important opportunities for trade and investment. In tandem with this we must engage in a respectful and robust dialogue on human rights issues,” says Senator Zappone.
Senator Zappone welcomes the deepening relationship between Ireland and China and hopes that Ireland can become more of a critical friend to China in future exchanges.
Note to Editors:
Senator Zappone is a former commissioner with the Irish Human Rights Commission.