IRELAND’S Minister for Foreign Affairs and Defence, Michéal Martin has raised issues around the ongoing conflicts in Ukraine and the Middle East while on a trip to China.
The Tánaiste, who began his four-day visit in Beijing yesterday (November 6), first met with Vice President Han Zheng at the Great Hall of the People.
After extending his condolences to the Vice President on the death of former Premier Li Kiqiang, the pair discussed “Ireland-China relations, economic opportunities and exchanged views on critical global challenges, including the war in Ukraine and the Middle East” Mr Martin’s department confirmed.
“I am very pleased to be here in Beijing and to have had the opportunity to meet with Vice President Han in the Great Hall of the People,” the Tánaiste said following the meeting.
“We had a constructive exchange on the strong ties between our two countries and discussed areas where Ireland and China can deepen our cooperation on issues of global significance such as climate change and sustainable development,” he added.
“We also discussed the war in Ukraine and the situation in the Middle East.
“I recalled the centrality of the multilateral system in addressing these situations and the responsibility on both Ireland and China, as stakeholders in the international system, to uphold the rules based international order and protect human rights.
“This includes calling out violations of the UN Charter, where they occur, and supporting the broader UN framework.”
The Tánaiste’s programme in Beijing continues today.
The trip marks his fourth visit to China as a member of Government, and second as Ireland’s Minister for Foreign Affairs.
While there the Tánaiste will meet members of the Irish community and business leaders and will address students at the Beijing Foreign Studies University, which hosts an Irish Studies Centre.
In Shanghai Mr Martin will formally open the government's new Ireland House offices, which host Ireland’s Consulate General and State Agencies.
He will also give an address at the China Europe International Business School on Ireland’s EU journey and EU-China relations.
Speaking of the visit, Mr Martin said: "I am looking forward to formally opening Ireland House, meeting with our key business contacts in the region and with the Irish community."
He added: "My programme includes key note speeches at the Beijing Foreign Studies University and the China EU Business School in Shanghai and I am particularly looking forward to the opportunity to engage with students and young people, and discuss the future of the Ireland-China relationship with them. "