Wednesday, October 13, 2010

The Tullamore-Beijing Axis

It may be the case that finally, FINALLY, the Irish Government is beginning to recognise that China has had a wee economic miracle over the last few decades, and that Beijing now has some moolah to spare. Coming fast on the heels of Biffo's meeting with Chinese propaganda chief and Politburo number 5, Li Changchun, our man Brian met with Premier Wen Jiabao in Brussels last week.

According to Pravda, the Biffmeister recognised that this summit (on the 4th and 5th of October):
"provided an excellent opportunity to meet in the margins with a number of Heads of Government of participating countries, including Premier Wen Jiabao of China."
This may seem like a minor point, but at least the Taoiseach is recognising that during the coffee break at this European shindigs he now needs to be offering Premier Wen the last digestive biccy, rather than listening to Nicholas blather on about his insanely hot wife, or trying to stammer apologies to Angela for all the bailing-us-out she has had to do.

The only person at this event that really mattered was Wen. Everyone else was either representing a waning power (helloooo France, Germany and Japan!) or a developing power that has not quite made the grade - yet (i.e. India, South Korea). Time was, however, that our leadership would have still wasted time chatting to the dusty old Europeans, rather than cutting to the chase and going to kiss-up to the big boys.

We need to raise our China game - and for once, it may seem that the Government has copped on to this reality. C'mon boys - take the next step and expand the IDA's office network in the PRC, and let's see what we can offer the next superpower by way of opportunities in Europe.

P.S. And before anyone brings up human rights etc. - who are the Chinese most likely to listen to? Former European colonial powers who were telling the Qing how cool free trade was in the 1840s, just before screwing China for all it is worth? Or a small, China-friendly, freedom loving bunch like ourselves, who are offering China a gateway to the EU? We can show China why human rights will make their nation stronger - and they will believe us, because we do not threaten them, and because we work with them.

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