Ambassador He attended Event Celebrating China-Ireland Relations

On 22 October, Ambassador He Xiangdong addressed a celebration event entitled "Ireland and China -- Looking Towards the Next 40 Years" at Iveagh House. The event was co-hosted by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade of Ireland and Ireland China Institute to celebrate 40 years of diplomatic relations between the two countries. Mr. Simon Coveney, Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, former Taoiseach Mr. Enda Kenny T.D., Secretary General of the DFAT Mr. Niall Burgess, Lord Mayor of Dublin Mr. Paul McAuliffe, Chairman of Ireland China Institute Mr. Ken Duggan, Chairman of Institute of International and European Affairs Mr. Ruairí Quinn and nearly 100 representatives from Irish government, think tanks, universities, chambers of commerce and Chinese enterprises in Ireland attended the event.


In his speech, Ambassador He Xiangdong pointed out that since establishing diplomatic relations in 1979, China-Ireland relations has been developing rapidly with frequent high-level visits and fruitful results. The bilateral trade increased from 5.15 million USD in 1979 to 14.5 billion USD in 2018. For the first 8 months of this year, the bilateral trade saw a rise of 24.5%. With the deepening of people-to-people exchanges, cooperation in education, culture, tourism and local governments have been developing smoothly.

Ambassador He called on both sides to make joint efforts to further strengthen the hard-won relations, saying the Chinese side is willing to work together with the Irish side to push the China-Ireland Strategic Partnership for Mutually Beneficial Cooperation to a new height on the basis of mutual respect for sovereignty and territorial integrity, non-interference in each other’s internal affairs, equality and mutual benefit, which is enshrined in the Joint Communiqué that established the diplomatic ties.

On current international situations, Ambassador He said China and Ireland both take part in and benefit from free trade and globalization. China will continue to be firmly committed to all-round opening-up and building an open economy of a higher standard. China welcomes Ireland to take a more active part in the Belt and Road Initiative so as to deepen cooperation in fields of trade, investment, science and technology, innovation and agriculture between the two countries. Both sides shall further enhance their links of culture, education, personnel and tourism to cement the foundation of the bilateral relations.

Tánaiste Simon Coveney said the past 40 years have witnessed a rapid development of the relations between China and Ireland in various fronts, including trade, political relations and people-to-people exchanges. Ireland is unwavering in its adherence to the One China Policy. As sincere friends, China and Ireland shall strengthen mutual trust and conduct win-win cooperation in a constructive and respectful manner. Ireland and China are vocal advocates for the principles of the UN Charter and the global trading system with the WTO as its core.

Mr. Coveney said the Asia strategies of Ireland will focus from trade to an all-round level, including politics, economic interests, culture and people. The Irish side is willing to deepen and broaden friendship with China and work for greater development of the Ireland-China relations in the next 40 years.


The celebration also held a panel discussion. Mr. Enda Kenny T.D., Ireland China Business Association president Ms. Caroline Devlin, Trinity College Dublin Chinese culture scholar Jerusha McCormack, UCD Confucius Institute director Prof. Wang Liming, Bank of China Dublin Branch Genera Manager Mr. Wang Zeyu and Cork City Council former Deputy Chief Executive Mr. Patrick Ledwidge talked about the Ireland-China relations from perspectives of politics, economic and trade, culture, education, finance and local exchanges, and answered questions from the audience.