Published 23/02/2012 | 05:00
Given the tribute one ancient civilisation has paid to another, Chinese appreciation of Irish culture, environment and progress should be repaid by the Government making Sino-European relations one of the major themes of Ireland's EU presidency in 2013.
Human rights in China could be fortified through Irish confidence-building measures designed to show that liberty strengthens a state. Empowering people is catalytic for a state's economy, politics and moral influence.
Mapping out a solid basis on which Sino-European relations are conducted would be a historic achievement for Irish diplomacy.