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Irish businessman stopped from leaving China.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 26,958 ✭✭✭✭Dempo1


    Funny you think the Irish Government were superb, in an interview over the weekend, Mr O Halloran claims he felt 'Abandoned " by the DOFA , as for Chinese Culture assuming Guilt by association, words escape me how to answer that but again, he was Not even employed by the company when the fraud took place and was infact sent over to assist defrauded Chinese citizens .

    Just in case you missed the interview, Note the Article Header


    Is maith an scáthán súil charad.




  • Posts: 0 [Deleted User]


    words escape me how to answer that but again

    You're seeking to apply Irish behaviours and standards to a foreign culture, dismissing anything that doesn't fit into that view. Chinese culture is built around the idea of guilt by association (along with inherited shame).. Blame needs to be assigned.... and some needs to pay.

    And yes, O'Halloran would have felt abandoned, considering how long this went on, and the numerous failures by the Irish government. Failures that would have occurred for anyone struggling over an issue that the Chinese felt they were in the right..

    However, it's worth considering that nobody is immediately, or even in the short term, successful in dealing with the Chinese govt or the Chinese Justice system. You're expecting the Irish govt to be successful where nobody else has been. It's an unrealistic expectation, demanding a standard that is impossible to meet, and then feeling justified in complaining about it.



  • Registered Users Posts: 625 ✭✭✭Cal4567


    If I was in business, I'd really be worried about working with some foreign countries and this appears to be a clear example.



  • Registered Users Posts: 26,958 ✭✭✭✭Dempo1


    I'm actually not seeking to apply anything, just making observations on the facts as I see them and indeed reported on , to say the Irish Government were superb in the handling of this is simply a stretch, but don't take my word for it, read O Hallorans own words .

    Is maith an scáthán súil charad.




  • Posts: 0 [Deleted User]


    I've lived almost 13 years in China... and that's why I'm saying the result by the Irish govt is superb. As I said, I fully expected to see O'Halloran disappear into a work camp for the next decade or so.

    I've read the article, and a few others on the topic. O Hallorans opinion doesn't change my own perspective on Chinese Justice. It's corrupt. It's political. It's incredibly awkward. And anyone trying to deal with that system needs to appreciate Chinese culture and their response to confrontational demands.



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  • Posts: 0 [Deleted User]


    I know plenty of people doing business in Asia, and few of them have any issues. The important part is to keep away from shady dealings, and at a corporate level, there was long period where shady dealings were part and parcel of doing business in China (and other Asian countries). But anyone doing normal business... I doubt you'd have much a problem if you've done your homework, and paid the appropriate bribes. TBH You'd likely face similar problems in Spain and Italy.. any foreign cultures where corruption is cultural, you'd have to be quite careful, but there's going to be a system to operate within.



  • Registered Users Posts: 26,958 ✭✭✭✭Dempo1


    And you absolutely make excellent and valid points and I'm certainly not defending China in anyway . I'm simply saying that having looked at the facts, O Hallorans total innocence, him not even being employed by the company at the time of the shenanigans and the extraordinary length of time to release him hardly suggests a Suberb Jib well done.

    I also believe his release actually wasn't anything to do with any Irish Government intervention or efforts, its completely to do with a Hush, Hush deal negotiated by various individuals, some not Named but some thanked specifically, that in itself rather curious.

    Is maith an scáthán súil charad.




  • Posts: 0 [Deleted User]


    In China, you are guilty until proven innocent. That's why the Irish govt did a great job in, somehow, convincing the Chinese to let him go. And no.. sorry.. nobody doing business at a corporate level is completely innocent, considering the corruption/bribery that tends to happen. He was there to play the game just as the person before him did. The difference is that he was blamed for what happened before he arrived... but that doesn't make him a saint.

    His release probably involved some hefty "gifts" given to some key players in the Chinese govt/Justice.. but it's also likely there were favours given by the Irish govt to the Chinese govt. That's the way Chinese society works. Bribes and the extension of favours. But the public element with the Irish govt involved, and the lack of sabre rattling probably went a long way towards his release too. The Chinese absolutely love to be praised and given respect.. and the Irish govt involved in doing so, would have sealed the deal. Don't underestimate their involvement. Money alone wouldn't have solved this, because it had been allowed to go international and enter the public eye. China would have needed to save face and gain from the overall situation, and that would only come from another government.



  • Registered Users Posts: 1,348 ✭✭✭Caquas


    Totally agree. China will throw innocent foreigners in jail to get what they want.

    https://www.economist.com/united-states/2021/09/25/as-canada-frees-a-huawei-boss-china-lets-two-canadians-out-of-jail

    O'Halloran is not a crook but he went to work for an allegedly crooked business (was he naive?). Most Chinese would think he got kid glove treatment - in a hotel, on full salary, free to roam China. Even now, reunited with his family, he can barely contain the boiling resentment inside him, not just at the Chinese government but at our own Government.

    If the deal that got him out was simply that the income from the aircraft lease went to the Chinese investors, why did that take three years?

    And what about his boss, Min Jeidong? I see reports Min Jiedong was convicted on 4 March 2019 of fund-raising fraud and illegal acceptance of public deposits. Entrepreneurship seems to still be a crime in China. Everyone here seems to assume he’s guilty of something. What does Richard O’Halloran think? As for as I can judge, he (and the Irish media) couldn’t care less if his boss is having his testicles roasted tonight, to seal the deal like!



  • Registered Users Posts: 12,033 ✭✭✭✭Richard Hillman


    There were a lot of talking heads in the Irish management class giving it the large one about how great Simon Coveney was with his "soft diplomacy". Soft diplomacy being marketing speak of he did absolutely nothing but will claim credit for it.

    3 years is an absolute disgrace. He was abandoned by meek, careerists looking for post political jobs and wont publicly say anything about China.

    The foreign affairs types within government seem weak as piss. Doing nothing is marketed as "Soft Diplomacy".

    Ireland's most wanted criminal is floating around Dubai, having his picture taken regularly with boxers. The government must being doing some great "soft diplomacy" in the background, i.e feck all



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  • Posts: 0 [Deleted User]


    Ahh... innocent... TBH I'm not so sure people taken by the Chinese are actually innocent. You've no idea of the craic that goes on over there by Western companies, and how they smooth their business dealings. Sure, it's all part of Chinese culture, and not involving themselves will result in far less actual business, but at the same time, those westerners doing higher levels of business in China, would likely be considered dirty beyond belief for doing the same here. The Chinese justice simply turns a blind eye most of the time until someone in authority makes a big fuss or the foreigner does something remarkably stupid by the Chinese standards. In the 80s/90s a whole industry was created in China of companies who would help smooth the way for foreign companies, allowing them to maintain the illusion that they weren't {directly} involved in the shady agreements.

    Honestly, the vast majority of trouble I've seen or heard foreigners being involved in... they caused it themselves. It's a corrupt system, but it's still a system with rules, and those who break them are likely to be punished, one way or another. (usually needing to pay a hefty bribe.. and generally speaking the people who really face serious trouble are those who refused to pay the bribe, forcing things to escalate).

    Entrepreneurship isn't any kind of crime in China... if anything it's actively encouraged both by the culture and the CCP. After all, more businesses means more revenue and decreases their social problems with unemployment. The problem with Min Jiedong wasn't that he was an entrepreneur. His job was to shake hands, grease palms, etc.. that's what fund raising is. It's an incredibly corrupt area of business, considering the way that Chinese culture expects the showing of respect, and gift giving.

    Personally I suspect the bribes weren't made high enough on the ladder of seniority, or someone else saw a great opportunity to embarrass a competing colleague.



  • Registered Users Posts: 1,348 ✭✭✭Caquas


    This story still getting plenty of coverage in the IT but I don't think there is anything new.

    Lots of blather about the Chinese mentality - saving face, bullying etc. - but no one here gives a toss about the Chinese citizens in this case. Min Jiedong, his boss, seems to have disappeared into a Chinese prison. Who were the Chinese investors? Countless Chinese savers trusting a chancer or a few wealthy oligarchs who thought aviation was a good money laundering scheme? The Irish media won't tell us. In fact they seem to know nothing other than what the O'Hallorans tell them.

    The more I read about this case and compare it with the kid glove treatment our courts gave to scam artists after the banking crash, I wonder if their Lordships could learn a thing or two from the court in Shanghai. The Irish media won't help in that direction.




  • Registered Users Posts: 1,599 ✭✭✭Cyclingtourist


    What next 'My Three Years in a Chinese Hotel' ghost written and out for Christmas 2022?



  • Registered Users Posts: 4,033 ✭✭✭joseywhales


    But why would you work in a country whose justice system considers you guilty until proven innocent. Like why would a free human choose to risk their freedom like that? What possible opportunity would make you risk your freedom and leave you at the mercy of political will?

    All I'm getting from this story is "never ever go to China"



  • Posts: 0 [Deleted User]


    If you feel that way, you should rule out the vast majority of countries in the world. I'm not even joking here. Cultural/institutionalised corruption, and racism is extremely common outside of western nations.

    However, to be plain, most foreigners are never touched by it, beyond the most basic of experiences. In 13 years in China, I never had any serious problems with the police, or Justice system in China. I was careful. I knew the score, and I avoided being a dick. However, some people believe that as being a foreigner, they're going to be treated differently (as they are in other aspects of living there) and so be immune to being arrested or treated as a criminal. These idiots are the ones that make things difficult for the rest of us, and shape public opinion of foreign groups. I've known 9 people who have been arrested for various offenses in China, and in each case, they were involved in something illegal. Whether that was business fraud, selling drugs or something as simple of breaking their visa responsibilities by working two jobs, they all broke the rules, and did it more than once. Idiots. The system is well known, the rules are obvious, but some people either see themselves above the laws/rules, or see some advantage by breaking them.

    As for why I went to live in China? Originally it was money. Pure and simple. I was leaving Australia, and the company I worked for recommended me for a contract position in Beijing, and the money was too good to pass up. Then, I started to enjoy the differences between Chinese and western culture, and.. I stayed. Great experience overall. I have my own dislikes about Chinese culture and Chinese people, but generally speaking, I see my time there as a definite plus. But then, I always kept a reserve of money in a non-Chinese bank to pay for flights out, or enough to pay a decent bribe if I needed to.

    It's important to know the score when living in a country like China... and it's not difficult to find out. It's even easier to stay within the boundaries of the law, and not make yourself a target. Most Chinese officials want nothing to do with foreigners from an official aspect.. too much paperwork, and attention from all the wrong places.



  • Registered Users Posts: 1,599 ✭✭✭Cyclingtourist


    It's hard to play the victim card when you live in Foxrock.



  • Registered Users Posts: 16,387 ✭✭✭✭Galwayguy35


    There is probably a few parts to this story we will never hear about, a strange case all round but it will be swept under the rug now by blaming the big bad Chinese guys for everything.



  • Registered Users Posts: 14,531 ✭✭✭✭elperello


    It's important to note that Richard O'Halloran was never charged with a crime despite the fact that he was available to the Chinese authorities for 3 years.



  • Registered Users Posts: 4,033 ✭✭✭joseywhales


    I kind of suspected as much regarding most non western countries. Id give Japan a shot for the cultural experience, their culture seems particularly sophisticated. I mean honestly you will find racism in every country we just accept that it's wrong and try to discourage it or just hide it. I've spend a decade in Canada and the us, not very exciting but at least I'm familiar with the common law and rights. I spent a few months in South India and loved it, except for the unreliable infrastructure(like electricity brown outs). As you say you get corruption in southern Europe too but it's easier to work your way out of that given the eu and proximity to Ireland and the familiarity that they have with us. I had a friend intervene on some police beating a guy up on the beach one night in the south of Spain, needless to say he took a fair beating himself for doing that, so yeah bad things can happen anywhere but I don't think the Spanish would get away with confinement without trial for three years, they didn't even arrest him, just left him in bits on the beach. I have a particular aversion to the oil rich Gulf states, people go there to enjoy the fabricated opulence in the desert built on modern slave labor, where domestic servants are raped and abused and have their travel documents confiscated. I can't be consenting to a society like that by doing business or even vacationing there. I think I will only ever go to China on a two week vacation to look at some historic sites.



  • Registered Users Posts: 6,592 ✭✭✭Allinall




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  • Registered Users Posts: 1,599 ✭✭✭Cyclingtourist


    Because people look at his privileged situation and say 'right, you had it tough for three years while a lot of others have it tough all their lives' .



  • Registered Users Posts: 9,381 ✭✭✭Yurt2


    With respect, people doing low consequence jobs in China like English instructors will likely never be on the radar of Chinese authorities.

    The leaked Public Security Bureau watchlist from Shanghai from a couple of years ago shows that foreign individuals working in critical industries, or anything vaguely connected with government and media have the eye of Sauron on them. It's not comfortable and it's not normal by any international standards. From memory, there were 16 Irish people on that PSB watchlist.

    You'll get arrested for acting the maggot drunk in any country on the map. But talk to people in China in certain industries that ain't English instructors living on the third ring road in Changsha and you may get a different story.

    I've known journalist doing serious work in China who have been seriously harassed and f*cked around with psychologically. Being a diplomat from certain countries is not comfortable either. I'd imagine working in a strategic industry for a foreign company people would have stories as well.

    Trying pass off China as rules-bound when the state wants to screw around with you is telling only 10 percent of the story.

    O'Halloran obeyed all the rules, Chinese and Irish. Accused of no crime and no malfeasance. He ended up hostage for 3 years. Waving it away as just one of those Chinese things is dandy until it comes for you or someone you care about. It's an excericse in apologism.



  • Posts: 0 [Deleted User]


    With respect, people doing low consequence jobs in China like English instructors will likely never be on the radar of Chinese authorities.

    I didn't say anything about foreigners being English teachers, but in reality, they're more likely to be on the radar of Chinese authorities, because they're the most likely to be breaking their visa agreements in working two jobs, and therefore are a wonderful way for Police/PSB officers to make extra money in the run up to Spring festival.

    You'll get arrested for acting the maggot drunk in any country on the map. But talk to people in China in certain industries that ain't English instructors living on the third ring road in Changsha and you may get a different story.

    Dunno what your focus on English instructors is. I've worked as an English Instructor, Business lecturer (State Universities), and as a Business Consultant. I have a very wide circle of friends and contacts among the foreign community in various places in China (as I've lived in a variety of cities), and I understand what goes on. But somehow, you know better, and feel the need to suggest that I don't know what I'm talking about. Amusing.

    I've known journalist doing serious work in China who have been seriously harassed and f*cked around with psychologically. Being a diplomat from certain countries is not comfortable either. I'd imagine working in a strategic industry for a foreign company people would have stories as well.

    haha.. so your logic is to use first, the most hated foreign profession for Chinese authorities, followed up by the second one most likely to generate distrust?

    As for strategic industries, as with most Asian countries, strategic industries are off limits to foreign influence. You're not going to get a foreigner working in a wide variety of industries in China because they're not allowed. Foreign companies that touch on those strategic industries use Chinese staff for integration. Of course, some industries/professions will receive more attention...

    Trying pass off China as rules-bound when the state wants to screw around with you is telling only 10 percent of the story.

    It's a rule based country for the vast majority of foreigners because the State doesn't give a **** about most foreigners there. As long as they do their jobs, keep their mouths shut about negatives, and don't break the laws. That's what I stated earlier. If the State wants to screw with you, nothing will prevent them from doing so. It's a police state ffs.

    You keep trying to twist points. You're not doing a good job at it.

    O'Halloran obeyed all the rules, Chinese and Irish. Accused of no crime and no malfeasance. He ended up hostage for 3 years. Waving it away as just one of those Chinese things is dandy until it comes for you or someone you care about. It's an excericse in apologism.

    Nope. It's discussing the topic, and considering what else might be at play. As stated earlier, O'Halloran was held guilty for what people did before he arrived. I don't believe he was completely innocent though, probably knowing something of the shady dealings before arriving.. but innocent of direct involvement? yes. Which is likely why he got released in the end.

    And nobody is waiving anything that happened to him, as one of those Chinese things. We were having a discussion over what else might have happened, and how that intersected with Chinese culture.



  • Posts: 0 [Deleted User]


    I kind of suspected as much regarding most non western countries. Id give Japan a shot for the cultural experience, their culture seems particularly sophisticated. I mean honestly you will find racism in every country we just accept that it's wrong and try to discourage it or just hide it.

    It's more about institutionalised racism, or cultural racism, which is more... common and affects you directly. TBH Most racism in Asia is kinda tedious and annoying rather than nasty. Preferential treatment by officials to natives, limitations on work rights for foreigners, grey areas in employment law, etc. It's annoying, and just ends up occupying time which could be spent elsewhere. Highly recommend Japan. Plenty of racism but it's worth the experience. TBH All of Asia is. The racism isn't really a big deal unless you allow yourself to be bothered by it.

    As you say you get corruption in southern Europe too but it's easier to work your way out of that given the eu and proximity to Ireland and the familiarity that they have with us

    Dunno about it being easier to work out of it. I've friends who started businesses in Spain, and have been royally screwed by both the authorities and the locals, due to the corruption. Good example is the way debt collectors are sent out even when people don't owe anything, and the lengths they can go legally. Have a look at provisional prison sentences:

    It's worth having a good look, because Spain has some "hidden" gems that makes getting arrested quite problematic, if the State really wants you to pay for something.

     I can't be consenting to a society like that by doing business or even vacationing there. I think I will only ever go to China on a two week vacation to look at some historic sites.

    How does living anywhere consent to that society? I don't get the logic. There's heaps wrong with China, and my presence there (regardless of my approval or disapproval) wouldn't change a thing.

    Still, that's up to you. I wouldn't recommend China now.. It's become too nationalistic, xenophobic, etc within the last few years. Wait for a while before going.. it'll settle down eventually.



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