On 3 April 2017, at the invitation of Wicklow County Council, H.E. Dr. Yue Xiaoyong, Chinese Ambassador to Ireland, visited County Wicklow.
The Ambassador met with Mr. Pat Fitzgerald, Cathaoirleach (Mayor) of Wicklow County Council, and Mr. Bryan Doyle, Chief Executive of the Council. They exchanged views on China-Ireland relations and the prospects for enhancing subnational links between Wicklow and Chinese provinces and cities.
In the County Council Chamber, Ambassador Yue invited to address the 32-member Council and share his views on China’s reform and development as well as the growing ties between Ireland and China.
Taking a retrospective look at China’s remarkable modernization journey since its Reform and Opening Up drive was initiated in late 1978, the Ambassador talked about the “One Belt, One Road” initiative, the five new grand ideas for development enshrined in the 13th Five-Year Plan, as well as Chinese President Xi Jinping’s recent call on the international community to build “a community of common future for mankind”. Quoting the President, Ambassador said that China’s development will provide the whole world, including Ireland and County Wicklow, with “a broader market, a variety of products, more adequate capital, and most importantly, valuable cooperation opportunities”.
Pledging the Embassy’s role as a bridge, the Ambassador expressed his appreciation to the Cathaoirleach and the other Councilors for their genuine enthusiasm about strengthening friendly exchanges and exploring cooperation opportunities with China’s Hainan Province.
On behalf of the Council and the residents of Wicklow, Cllr. Pat Fitzgerald
extended cordial greetings and sincere gratitude to Ambassador Yue. In response to the Ambassador’s encouraging remarks, seven County Councilors made comments on China’s continued robust development and the opportunities that they hope Ireland would be able to seize at the uncertain time of Brexit as an English-speaking member of the European Union and a valuable trusted partner of China’s.
During the Ambassador’s visit to Wicklow, Cllr. Gerry Walsh, Chairman of Economic Development & Enterprise Support Strategic Policy Committee, Mr. Fred Verdier, Wicklow County Tourism Development Officer, and Ms. Annette Rowsome, Business Advisor of Wicklow Local Enterprise Office, made informative and impressive presentations on Wicklow and its resources, strategy, industries and its hospitable people.
Also in attendance were Mr. Pan Xiongwen, Head of Political and Press Section of the Chinese Embassy, Ms. Xiao Qi, Second Secretary of Economic and Commercial Counselor’s Office of the Chinese Embassy, Mr. Andrew Doyle T.D., Minister of State of the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, senior officials of various sections and offices of the County Council, President of local Chamber of Commerce, as well as representatives of the local news media and the Chinese community in Wicklow.