Chinese Ambassador walks out on Gormley
The Chinese Ambassador has walked out of the Green Party convention after criticism by John Gormley of China's role in Tibet.
The ambassador, Liu Biwei, walked out as Mr Gormley delivered his leader's speech shortly before 9pm.
Mr Gormley told delegates that human rights must extend to all countries and cultures. He said one country which has been expoloited and suppressed and suffered for far too long is Tibet. He said the party condemns unequivocally the flagrant abuse of human rights by the Chinese government and called on the Chinese government to enter dialogue with the Dalai Lama.
After he left, the ambassador told RTÉ News that Chinese people loved peace and wanted good relations with Irish people. 'I hope our relations with Ireland, including economic relations, can go on,' he said.
Mr Biwei said he had been invited to the Green Party convention to participate. He said he had not expected Mr Gormley as leader of the Greens to say what he had said.
Mr Biwei said Mr Gormley's position that Tibet is a country is 'totally wrong'. He said now around 200 countries in the world recognise Tibet as an integral part of China's territory. He said Mr Gormely had accused the Chinese Government 'without knowing what is truly happening there'.
Mr Biwei said he had to lodge his strong objection to Mr Gormley's remarks and had to leave the hall to make his 'strong protest'.