Next leader of China on way for three-day visit
CHINA'S next leader Xi Jinping will arrive in Ireland next week for a major three-day visit.
Mr Xi (58) is set to become president of China in October and he will meet with Irish leaders on a broad range of issues, including trade and tourism.
The English-speaker will be named secretary of the Communist Party in eight months and then is expected to be appointed president and civilian head of the military.
He is likely to include a visit to Shannon and the West of Ireland during his visit. China's leaders admire Ireland's past achievements in attaining economic prosperity in just a few decades. The Chinese recognise Ireland as having a significant role in Europe and as a possible base for business and manufacture within the EU.
Mr Xi met our then president Mary McAleese in 2010 in Shanghai and showed a considerable knowledge and interest in Ireland. His arrival in Ireland comes at a time when the EU is anxious to secure Chinese support for the euro zone.
The future Chinese leader is the "princeling" son of one of his country's most revered revolutionaries.