'New leader will be good friend to us'
AN Irish farmer who played host to Xi Jinping on his Irish visit says he expects the Chinese leader to be a good friend to Ireland.
Mr Xi visited James Lynch's family farm at Cappa, Sixmilebridge, Co Clare, last February.
The then vice-president wanted to see a dairy farm as part of his official state visit, and Mr Lynch was happy to oblige.
Mr Xi was yesterday named president of the People's Republic of China and Mr Lynch said he would make a good leader. "I'm absolutely delighted for him, I want to wish him the best of luck going forward," Mr Lynch told the Irish Independent.
China's parliament formally elected Mr Xi to succeed Hu Jintao.
He had already been named as head of the Communist Party and chairman of its military last November.
"He is going to be a big help to the Irish agricultural industry," Mr Lynch said.
"He has a keen interest in agriculture and he knows that in Ireland we have a very high quality of produce."
Ireland was the only EU state that he visited on the trip.