Eamon Gilmore: Profit more important than human rights?

Every country trading or hoping to trade with China has to achieve a balance between profit and defending human rights by highlighting China’s poor record in this area.

Most Western countries have made efforts to achieve this balance.

The French Prime Minister recently spoke out strongly during a visit to China.

US president Barak Obama also spoke directly to the Chinese and had an official make the following statement outside the Beijing courthouse where a human rights campaigner was being sentenced.

We call on the Government of China to release him immediately and to respect the rights of all China’s citizens to peacefully express their political views.

Many of these people are tortured and in one case the wife and children of a campaigner were starved for three days until he relented.

Amnesty International asked our Minister for Foreign Affairs, Eamon Gilmore, to specifically raise some of these cases with the Chinese Vice President on his recent visit.

Gilmore’s response:

No, we didn’t raise specific cases any more than we raised specific trade investments.

Trade investments, human torture? What’s the difference, what’s the big deal?

In fairness to Gilmore, he’s only reflecting the extremely low ethical/moral standards common throughout the Irish body politic.

Full report on RTEs Drivetime (20th Feb.).

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Eamon Gilmore