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Xi Jinping Holds Talks with Irish Prime Minister Kenny

On February 19, 2012, local time, visiting Chinese Vice President Xi Jinping held talks with Irish Taoiseach (Prime Minister) Enda Kenny.

Xi Jinping first conveyed the cordial greetings and good wishes from Premier Wen Jiabao to Prime Minister Kenny. He said that the purpose of his current visit to Ireland is to further deepen the traditional friendship, strengthen pragmatic cooperation, promote bilateral relations to a higher level and exchange views on China-EU relations and other issues of common concern.

Xi Jinping said that despite the difference in their size, social system and cultural traditions, the two countries have always cherished friendly feelings for each other. Both sides have treated each other with equality and mutual trust, and established an example of friendly coexistence between countries. Since it took office last year, the coalition government led by Prime Minister Kenny has comprehensively strengthened cooperation with China and promoted the sustained and stable development of bilateral relations. In the context of the international financial crisis, bilateral trade still maintains growth momentum. The two sides have continuously made new progress in cooperation in various fields such as education, science and technology, culture and health, cementing the public opinion basis of China-Ireland friendship. The two countries have also maintained good communication and coordination on major international issues. China appreciates Ireland's long-standing adherence to the one-China policy.

Xi said that China attaches importance to relations with Ireland and is willing to work with it to translate the sound basis of political relations into mutually beneficial and pragmatic cooperation. Xi made a two-point proposal on the development of bilateral relations.

First, to enhance the traditional friendship and the level of mutual trust. Both sides can discuss how to enhance cooperation in specific areas. China encourages the parliaments, political parties and government departments of the two countries to strengthen exchanges. China hopes Ireland will continue to adhere to the one-China principle and extend precious support to China on the issue concerning China's core interests. The two sides can strengthen communication and coordination on opposing protectionism, the reform of the UN and other issues.

Second, to expand pragmatic exchanges and cooperation in various fields. The two sides can take a long-term perspective, complement each other's advantages, give full play to Ireland's technology, talent and experience strengths as well as China's market, capital and labor advantages to jointly develop products and to explore new markets. Both side should focus on promoting exchanges and cooperation in economy and trade, science and technology, education, agriculture and humanities.

On China-EU relations, Xi said that the relationship is one of the priorities of China's diplomatic strategy. As EU's comprehensive strategic partner, China has always supported the European integration process. China attaches importance to the euro position, is optimistic about the euro prospects, supports economic stability of the euro and the euro zone and supports Europe to play a greater role in the international arena. As regards differences between China and Europe, China advocates mutual respect, equal exchange and friendly pragmatic way to deal with the differences. China believes that the EU has the ability, wisdom and way to get out of the plight through the promotion of reform and adjustment and will usher in a new era of development. China will continue to support the efforts of the European Union, the European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in its own way to solve the debt problems in Europe.

Kenny said that Vice President Xi's visit to Ireland reflects the close and friendly relations between Ireland and China and will further deepen and develop the existing friendly relations between the two countries. Although the two countries differ in size, both peoples have much in common. Ireland has always been a good friend of China and developing relations with China is an important task of the Irish government. Ireland has consistently adhered to and will continue to pursue the one-China policy. Kenny said that China's development not only changes itself, but also affects the world. Ireland is ready to establish a stronger relationship with China. He hoped the two sides will strengthen cooperation on economy, trade, mutual investment, education, agriculture, animal husbandry and tourism. Ireland is willing to facilitate Chinese enterprises to invest in Ireland and enter the European market and will play an active role in promoting EU-China relations.

After the talks, both sides attended the signing ceremony of cooperation documents on economy, trade, investment and education and other fields.

Xi's entourage including Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi, Gao Hucheng, International Trade Representative and Vice Minister of the Ministry of Commerce, Chinese Ambassador to Ireland Luo Linquan, Vice Foreign Minister Cui Tiankai, Zhang Xiaoqiang, deputy director of the National Development and Reform Commission, and Shi Zhihong, deputy director of the Policy Research Office of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee, attended the above activities.


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