Sunday 24 September 2017

Karen Coleman: Our silence on China will bring jobs, but at a cost

Chinese Vice President Xi Jinping and Taoiseach Enda Kenny shake hands
Chinese Vice President Xi Jinping and Taoiseach Enda Kenny shake hands

Let's say you're a smart person. You're well qualified but you can't get a job. You're reluctant to pack your bags because you like Ireland.

Imagine getting a great job offer after two years on the dole. You'll get €65,000 a year to help the Chinese develop their new hub in Athlone that will create 10,000 jobs. It's a fantastic opportunity and you're over the moon.

But there's a problem. Your job offer is contingent on the Irish government reversing its belligerent insistence that China releases the hundreds of human rights activists, lawyers and writers that it has slammed in jail over the past year. The Chinese are mad and are threatening to relocate to Scotland if the government doesn't shut up.

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