No Peeking At Dublin Twinning with Beijing

Plans by Dublin City Council to put in place a twinning arrangement with the Capital City of China, Beijing have been met with criticism from a prominent Labour Councillor.

It has emerged that a special meeting of the Protocol Committee will take place on Thursday, November 25 to allow for further consideration of the proposals, that will marry Dublin to the far East capital, in a move that is expected to generate stronger business relations with the Chinese.

However, Labour Cllr Aodhán O'Riordáin has responded to the news, expressing "very serious reservations" about the plan.

Cllr O'Riordáin said that while much progress on human rights has been made in China in recent years, it remained "one of the most repressive and authoritarian countries in the world".

"I am appalled by the unjustified use of arbitrary detention, the repressive action in Tibet, in Xinjiang, and against the Falun Gong movement and various forms of political opposition.

"Unless and until there is an immediate and unconditional release of all prisoners of opinion and conscience, we should not even be contemplating move towards a twinning arrangement."

Cllr O'Riordáin said he do not believe Ireland should "implicitly endorse" a regime like China, which he said had little respect for freedom of thought, conscience and religion, and less respect for women's and workers' rights, by entering into such an arrangement.

Dublin is currently twinned with San Jose in United States, as well as Liverpool in the United Kingdom, and the Spanish city Barcelona.

Arguments based on resisting Chinese twinning may however be largely academic, as Cork City was already twinned the Chinese city, Shanghai, in 2005. Cork, incidentally, is also twinned with Coventry in England, Rennes in France, San Francisco in the United States, Cologne in Germany, and Swansea in Wales.


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