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Chinese Premier to meet with President and Taoiseach

Chinese Premier Li Qiang is to meet with President Michael D Higgins and Taoiseach Leo Varadkar later as part of his short visit to Ireland.

He arrived at Dublin Airport last night where he was greeted by Minister for the Environment Eamon Ryan.

Mr Li will meet President Higgins at Áras an Uachtaráin before a bilateral meeting with Mr Varadkar at Farmleigh House.

During the working lunch, the two leaders are expected to discuss global issues, bilateral issues and EU-China relations.

The Irish Government will also highlight the issue of human rights, while the question of the resumption of beef exports to China will also be discussed.

The Taoiseach said it was important for Ireland to have a good relationship with China given its growing political and economic power.

Mr Li is due to depart tomorrow afternoon.

He spoke at Davos yesterday and Ireland is the only other European stop on this trip.

Phoenix Park is closed until 7pm this evening to accommodate the visit, while An Garda Síochána will operate rolling road closures as he travels to Dublin Airport.

It is the first time such a high-ranking Chinese official has visited Ireland since Mr Li’s predecessor Li Keqiang visited Ireland in 2015.

Prior to that, Xi Jinping visited Ireland in 2012, before becoming President of China for the first time in 2013.

President Xi is now serving his third term in office.

Read more: What to expect from Chinese Premier’s visit to Ireland

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