Tuesday 25 July 2017

Lynch resisted alliance with Chinese

Ed Carty

Jack Lynch believed China needed and wanted friends in the West but was not willing to make an alliance.

As TD in 1980, Mr Lynch travelled east and in a follow-up report to government he claimed the Communist state feared Russia was plotting world domination.

Although China wanted the West's support to stand firm against the USSR, they were not willing to make formal Nato-type alliances.

The former Taoiseach said senior Chinese politicians were warning of a world war by 1984 or 1985 and that their Soviet neighbours had "designs on the Gulf states".

Mr Lynch had been invited on the visit by the institute of foreign affairs of the People's Republic of China. It followed up on a trip by President Cearbhall O Dalaigh in 1977.

Mr Lynch met China's reformer, senior vice premier Deng Xiaoping, whom he described as the country's strong man. Deng Xiaoping was renowned as a liberal who opened China to western markets.

The report contained in the state papers released under the 30-year rule stated that China's biggest fear was "Russian hegemonism".

Officials warned Mr Lynch that they believed Russia was aiming to "outflank and encircle Western Europe in the Middle East and North Africa".

The four-page document said the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan and its support for the Khmer Rouge in Cambodia was not isolated action.

"It would be misleading for the rest of the world to think that the Russians will stop there," Mr Lynch reported the Chinese saying.

Irish Independent

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