His Tremendousness Brian Cowen will be meeting with a senior Chinese politician today, Li Changchun, the 5th ranked member of the Politburo Standing Committee of the Communist Party of China. Mr Li is, according to Forbes, China's propaganda chief. Now, given what I have said before about Ireland's need to court Chinese investment, I am pleased that Mr. Cowen at least recognises that the fifth most powerful man in China is about a billion times more powerful than the mightiest man in Ireland, and that we should, in effect, kiss-up to the PRC.
However, is it possible that Mr. Cowen recognises that Mr. Li offers more than mere investment opportunities? This was the man, after all, who in 2009 organised (along with China Mobile) for every mobile phone in China to have patriotic songs as ring tones in honour of the 60th birthday of the PRC. If your phone starts playing "Lakes of Ponchatrain", you know why.