Chinese consulate for Belfast..?

I THINK it’s a pretty positive thing that one of the first discussions the two First Ministers held was the possibility of a Chinese consulate for Northern Ireland. It would be no bad thing to develop closer links to an economy that appears to be growing strongly (and I say that as a layman, not an economist!), but would also be of benefit to the longest-established immigrant community here.And while investment from the east would be very welcome, there is likely to be greater interest from the US too. As I’ve said before, the one thing US investors seemed to look for when it came to Northern Ireland was stability, and if we’ve got it, then the international goodwill our politicians squandered after the Good Friday Agreement may return.

  • protorious

    I welcome the idea of opening a Chinese Consulate in Belfast, I can see nothing but good coming from opening the doors to Chinese diplomats and discussing some investment packages.

    What makes me slightly hesitant is China’s behaviour in African countries where large investments have been handed out regardless of the political climate, investments which have been militantly protected with the eradication of competition from domestic sources (Zimbabwe is a good example).

    Though naturally China could never carry something like that out in Northern Ireland it makes you think twice about accepting Chinese investment with open hands, the money is essentially coming from a country that would invest anywhere as long as a profit is generated…

  • What makes me slightly hesitant is China’s behaviour in African countries where large

    Why does it surprise you that a dictatorship is prepared to use the facilities of other dictatorships to advance it’s own interests? After all, democracies do this sort of thing as well.

    This is a very positive step – whether it is more a sign of Belfast’s or China’s growing importance, I leave for your imagination.

  • protorious

    Sammy,

    I doesn’t nessecarily suprise me, I just think we should be wary of the fact that China is still a dictatorship that doesn’t give a toss about economic development beyond what profit it equals to them; There is a possibility in our haste for investment we could forget this and just see them as an eager investor, something which I would not like to happen…

    Simply for moral reason…

    Damn my morals…

  • joeCanuck

    How times have changed.
    The first Chinese restaurant in Belfast opened when I was at Queens in the late sixties – in Shaftesbury Square.

  • Wasn’t there one in Lower Donegall St or Lower North St before that? In the early ’60s?

  • Ulster McNulty

    If Magennis and Paisley were really smart they would now also open negotiations for a consulate for the Republic of China (Taiwan) and then let the Peoples Republic of China (China) and The Republic of China shower Northern Ireland with multi-million dollar bribes and technical assistance (as they are wont to do in other developing countries like Northern Ireland) in return for the diplomatic recognition. It’s win-win and Taiwan is a democracy into the bargain.

  • jake

    since both our beloved leaders are themselves undemocratic autocrats the move makes a perfect fit – next should be an embassy for pyongyang!

  • Katinka

    I think the first Chinese restaurant opened in Belfast in North Street Arcade in the late 1950s. It was very good, I remember it well because I proposed to my girlfriend in it in 1960! (She accepted…..)

  • Rory

    I think that Joe’s mistaken memory of the date of the first Chinese restuarant was probably clouded by the practice of QUB students never to travel further north than Donegall Place. Many would not even venture that far – much to the delight of the populace of those areas.

  • the bogmailer

    Well we all know that Mr Paisley is all too fond of a curry chip, so I’m not surprised to see him pandering to the pan Chinese front.

  • the bogmailer

    Oh, and what effect will this have on extortion rackets operating on your local chinky?

  • joeCanuck

    Looks like my aging memory has failed me again.

  • The Dubliner

    I don’t know what the recent figures are on this, but Newsweek put China’s trade deficit with Europe at 83 billion dollars for the first nine months of 2006, and its trade deficit with the US at 177.5 billion dollars for 2006 – both were projected to rise for 2007. Trade with China, clearly, doesn’t work to Europe’s advantage. Telling Chinese companies to notice your market is very much a case of be careful what you wish for.

  • pat cox

    terrible human rights record. any country that executes prisoners and sells their organs is not welcome in ireland. chinese in ireland do not want a consulate either chances are they fled the communist regime to get here.

  • heck

    protorious

    Did I read you right complaining about Chinese behavior in Africa? Is this from a European? Has anyone heard of what Britain, France, Portugal or Belgium have been up to in Africa in times past?

    I don’t think anyone from Europe should be point fingers at what China is doing in Africa.

  • DK

    So Heck – because Europe was bad in Africa in the past we can’t hold China accountable? What twisted logic is that? Stop all the demonstrations about the occupation of tibet because Britain also occupied countries. Twat.

  • Dewi

    It’s great that the Consul and his staff are taking their cultural duties seriously:

    Brilliant.

  • Paddy fields of athenry

    It’s great that the Consul and his staff are taking their cultural duties seriously:

    Brilliant.

    That’s a restaurant on Baggot st. in Dublin. I guess the phrase, ‘more Irish than the Irish themselves’ is as relevant today as it ever was. Integration at it’s best. 😉

  • Dewi

    I’ll surely be going there next time I’m in Dublin !

  • Rory

    So the Chinese pub on Craggy Island with its Chinese traditional Irish band isn’t as surreal as we imagined. Great stuff!.

  • mnob

    Dubliner – apparently according to economic theory – trade is trade – it doesnt matter what direction its going in – money flows one way, goods another its all good – the more the better.

    I didnt say I understood it btw !

  • lib2016

    There’s an excellent scheme in the South allowing Chinese students to work 19 hours per week on student visas. Not only is it helping to build ties with one of the most dynamic economies in the world but it is also good for Ireland now in helping to supply much needed labour and support Irish educational facilities.

    The sooner the same facilities can be extended to the Indians the better and maybe the North could lead for once. The Indian economy doesn’t suffer from a legacy of the ‘one child’ law and may well surpass the Chinese economy in another decade.

  • lib2016

    It’s no accident that McAleese and Bertie have led several trade delegations to both countries in the last few years and also to South America.

    We are the English speaking door to the EU without the imperial baggage of certain other European countries. It’s time to build on our advantages instead of arguing about how much we can beg off the neighbours.

  • The sooner the same facilities can be extended to the Indians the better and maybe the North could lead for once. The Indian economy doesn’t suffer from a legacy of the ‘one child’ law and may well surpass the Chinese economy in another decade.

    Totally agree about the student visas and the Indian economy is really starting to motor now. It’s also worth noting that Indian birthrates are rapidly falling to sustainable levels without the need for the overbearing and brutal one-child policy.

    Which isn’t actually as all embracing in China as people perceive it, anyway. Non-Han Chinese are exempt from it for starters.