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Chinese Premier to arrive in Ireland for first visit

Chinese Premier Li Qiang will arrive into Dublin Airport later on his first visit to Ireland.

He will be greeted at the airport by Minister for Transport Eamon Ryan.

Mr Li is due to meet President Michael D Higgins at Áras an Uachtaráin and have a bilateral meeting with Taoiseach Leo Varadkar at Farmleigh House tomorrow.

Mr Varadkar has said it was important to have good relations with China but some questions on global and bilateral issues, as well as China’s relationship with the European Union would need to be discussed.

“China is a very important political and economic power in the world, becoming bigger all the time. In that sense so it’s important we have good relations with China but also some questions we need to talk about as well,” he said.

The Irish Farmers Association has said it hoped that talks include the resumption of beef exports to the Chinese market.

Exports were stopped in November after a case of atypical BSE was detected in a bovine animal in Ireland, just months after the Chinese market had reopened to Irish beef.

Mr Li attended the World Economic Forum in Davos earlier, where he condemned “barriers” to green and tech trade.

The Chinese premier’s arrival will be first time such a high-ranking Chinese official has visited Ireland since 2015.

He was handpicked by Chinese President Xi Jinping for the role of his second in command.

At the World Economic Forum today, Mr Li condemned ‘barriers’ to green and tech trade

He presided over a strict lockdown in Shanghai in 2022 and a fraught reopening some months later.

As a result of the visit, the Phoenix Park will be closed to traffic from 7pm this evening until 7pm tomorrow.

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