Dáil Éireann - Volume 543 - 06 November, 2001
Written Answers. - Falun Gong.
Mr. Kenny Mr. Kenny
189. Mr. Kenny asked the Minister for Foreign Affairs the nature of the assurance given to the Government and his Department following the raising of the imprisonment of a person (details supplied) by the Chinese Premier of the People's Republic of China; if he will report on the position regarding the release of this person; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [26323/01]
Mr. Cowen Mr. Cowen
Minister for Foreign Affairs (Mr. Cowen): The Taoiseach met with Premier Zhu Rongji, during the Chinese State visit in September and raised the case of the detention in China of Trinity College student Zhao Ming. Premier Zhu gave a commitment to convey the interest of the Irish Government and people on this case to the Chinese judicial authorities. The Irish Embassy in Beijing has been following the case of Zhao Ming and has been informed by the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs that, arising from Premier Zhu's statement, the concern of the Irish authorities had been brought to the attention of the Chinese judicial authorities.
Zhao Ming is apparently a member of the body known as Falun Gong, which was banned by the Chinese authorities in July 1999. He is a Chinese citizen and therefore subject to the laws of China while in that country, including those in respect  of Falun Gong. As he is not an Irish citizen, Ireland has no consular function in this matter. This matter currently rests with the Chinese judicial authorities. I will report to the Dáil on this subject as I receive further information.
Dáil Éireann 543 Written Answers. Falun Gong.