Top Chinese legislator holds talks with Irish parliament leaders
2013-05-15 23:50

On Tuesday, May 14, 2013, Mr. Zhang Dejiang, Chairman of Standing Committee of the National People's Congress (NPC), held official talks at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing with Mr. Seán Barrett, T.D., Ceann Comhairle of Dáil Éireann, and Mr. Paddy Burke, Cathaoirleach of Seanad Éireann.


Mr. Zhang Dejiang said, "Ever since the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and Ireland, the two countries have all along adhered to the principles of mutual respect, equality, friendliness and mutual trust, and our relations have maintained a positive momentum of steady development. In 2012, the leaders of both countries agreed to build a Strategic Partnership for Mutually Beneficial Cooperation, which serves as a new framework for China-Ireland relations, opening up vast prospects for exchanges and cooperation. 2013 marks the 10th anniversary of the establishment of a China-EU Comprehensive Strategic Partnership, and Ireland holds the EU Presidency in the first half of this year. I hope that Ireland will strive to play a bigger role in promoting the development of China-EU relations. The Chinese Government will continue to extend its positive support to Member States of the EU, including Ireland, in their efforts to address the financial and debt crises and achieve economic recovery."


Mr. Zhang commended the Oireachtas, the Irish Parliament, for its efforts to maintain exchanges and cooperation with China's National People's Congress (NPC), saying that over the years, both Dáil Éireann and Seanad Éireann, supporting the Irish Government's endeavours to develop its relations with China, have been an important force for advancing China-Ireland relations, that the NPC attaches great importance to its relations with the Oireachtas, and is ready to build upon the existing foundation and further strengthen its friendly exchanges with both Houses, with three proposals:  1. Stress should be placed on exchanges in matters relating to legislation and governance, and substantive exchanges should be conducted on selected topics and issues of common interest to enable both parliaments to engage in enhanced dialogues and learn from each other.  2. With advancement of China-Ireland relations as a core objective, the two parliaments should make continued efforts to tap the potential for pragmatic cooperation between the two countries of greater scales, higher levels, wider ranges and greater benefits.  3. Fully utilizing their advantage in broad representation and extensive connections of parliamentarians, the NPC and the Oireachtas should do more to drive and facilitate sub-national and people-to-people exchanges and cooperation with a view to continuously enhancing the social and public-opinion basis for China-Ireland relations, and making new and greater contributions to the sustained and sound development of China-Ireland Strategic Partnership for Mutually Beneficial Cooperation.


Mr. Barrett and Mr. Burke highlighted the readiness of both Dáil Éireann and Seanad Éireann to join hands with China's NPC to enhance the friendship between Irish and Chinese peoples and elevate the practical cooperation between the two countries in various fields to higher levels, emphasizing that Ireland regards China as an important partner and that the establishment of Ireland-China Strategic Partnership for Mutually Beneficial Cooperation in 2012 injects new impetus to the their friendly exchanges and mutually beneficial cooperation.


Sean Barrett, speaker of Dail Eireann, the lower house of the Irish parliament, and Paddy Burke, chairman of Seanad Eireann, the upper house of the Irish parliament, are paying a week-long visit to China as the guests of Zhang Dejiang, chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress (NPC).