Chinese beef talks still on track
Published 13/04/2016 | 02:30
Potential Irish beef deals with China will not be impacted by the Irish government's stance on China's human rights record, a senior acting Minister has stated.
Acting Minister for Foreign Affairs Charlie Flanagan said Ireland continues to work closely through its network of embassies and consulates in China to create partnerships in trade.
"No explicit linkage has been drawn by the Chinese authorities between this (UN) motion and the progress of Ireland's application for beef access," he said.
Ireland, along with a number of other countries, supported a US motion at the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva which followed concerns raised by the High Commissioner for Human Rights.
It raised issues over "unexplained recent disappearances" and "arrests and ongoing detention of rights activists".
However, the Agriculture Department stated it is continuing to work closely with Chinese authorities to finalise the remaining technical steps to allow trade of Irish beef.
Earlier this year Chinese inspectors visited Irish meat plants and the department is currently awaiting a report from them on it.
The Chinese market has been a key target for Ireland's meat processors after it moved to lift the BSE ban on imported Irish beef in 2015.