Published on Wednesday 28th March 2012

Strategic Partnership Agreement between People's Republic of China and Ireland

At the invitation of H.E. Wen Jiabao, Premier of the State Council of the People's Republic of China, Taoiseach Enda Kenny  paid an official visit to China from 25 to 28 March 2012.

During the visit, Premier Wen Jiabao held talks with the Taoiseach.  Chairman Wu Bangguo of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress and Vice President Xi Jinping also met with the Taoiseach.

The leaders on both sides reviewed the substantial progress in bilateral relations and the fruitful achievements in bilateral cooperation in various areas since the establishment of diplomatic relations in 1979.  They agreed that the widening and deepening of China-Ireland relations is a  shared aspiration which serves the fundamental interests of the peoples of both countries,  and they will further  facilitate practical, effective and result-oriented  cooperation between the two countries so as to develop the relationship further.  The two sides agreed to build on their good relations and establish a strategic partnership for mutually beneficial cooperation covering political, economic, trade, investment, food and agricultural, cultural, science and technology, educational, tourism and services  fields.  They agreed the following priorities:

1. The two sides agree to maintain the momentum of high-level exchanges and underlined the leading role of such exchanges for the development of bilateral relations.  Both sides are committed to broadening friendly exchanges and cooperation at all levels between their governments, legislatures and political parties, with a view to enhancing mutual understanding and trust, and deepening political ties based on equality and mutual trust. 

The two sides will strengthen their political and economic dialogue, and they will promote closer consultation and cooperation between the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Irish Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

Both sides express their respect for each other's choice of development path in light of respective national conditions, as well as each other's domestic and foreign policies, national sovereignty and territorial integrity.  The two sides agree on accommodating each other's core interests and concerns and making efforts to secure sustained, sound and steady development of bilateral ties.

Ireland reiterates its firm and unwavering commitment to the one-China policy and its opposition to all comments and propositions aiming at undermining China's territorial integrity.  Ireland does not support Taiwan's bid to join any international organisation of sovereign states.   Ireland supports the peaceful development of the relationship across the Taiwan Straits and expresses its support for China's peaceful reunification.  The Chinese side appreciates this position.

The two sides reaffirmed their commitment to respecting and safeguarding human rights.  On the basis of equality and mutual respect, the two sides will conduct exchanges of expertise in governance and rule of law.

2. The two sides emphasize their intention to deepen economic and trade cooperation to their mutual benefit. The two sides will draw full benefit from their mutual complementarities with the aim of boosting two-way trade and investment.

The two sides agree to make full use of the China-Ireland Economic and Scientific Joint Commission and provide a better service to facilitate exchanges and cooperation between businesses on both sides.  Joint efforts will be made to upgrade trade in services between the two countries to a higher level, boost cooperation between small- and medium-sized enterprises, encourage capable domestic businesses to invest in the other country, and provide an enabling environment to enterprises of the other side.

3. The two sides agree on furthering bilateral cooperation in the fields of science and technology, health and agriculture (food and agribusinesses), information and communications technologies, software, financial services and other important industries.  The two sides will work together on an industrial-academic-research alliance for cooperation in life science.

4. The two sides are committed to advancing bilateral people-to-people exchange.  Efforts will be made to encourage mutually beneficial exchanges and cooperation between cultural and art institutions of China and Ireland; to strengthen cooperation in language teaching and to support students studying at one another's institutions of higher learning; to educate high-level talents (doctoral and post doctoral) through joint projects; and welcome joint research by Chinese and Irish institutions of higher learning and research.  The Irish side welcomes and supports the setting up of the Confucius Institutes and Confucius Classrooms in Ireland.

5. The two sides are committed to the development of the China-EU comprehensive strategic partnership.  Ireland supports early EU recognition of China's full market economy status, and recalls its strong commitment to free trade.   Ireland expresses its view in favour of work towards lifting the EU arms embargo against China, taking account of the existence of relevant EU instruments and European Council conclusions in recent years.   China appreciates Ireland's commitment to free trade and looks forward to further progress in China-EU relations during Ireland's EU Presidency in the first half of 2013.

6. The Chinese side noted with interest the constructive measures adopted by Ireland to address and resolve the challenges posed by the sovereign debt issues of recent years, and  welcomes Ireland's endeavours for economic recovery.

7. The two sides are in full support of a fair, just and rule-based multilateral international system and the leading role of the United Nations in safeguarding world peace, promoting common development and advancing international cooperation. Both sides support the constructive role that all countries can play in world affairs, regardless of their size.  The two sides stand for respecting the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations and the authority and role of the UN and agree on stepping up coordination and cooperation in the United Nations and other international organizations.  The two sides appreciate one another's active role as contributors of personnel to the peacekeeping missions of the United Nations, and affirm their willingness to further their exchange and cooperation in this regard. China supports an active Irish role in world affairs.