Chinese premier says China, Ireland should regard each other as key cooperative partners

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China and Ireland should adhere to mutual benefit, and always regard each other as key cooperative partners and development opportunities, Chinese Premier Li Qiang said here Wednesday.

Li made the remarks when meeting with Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar at Farmleigh House, the official Irish state guest house, in the Irish capital of Dublin.

During their talks, Li said China and Ireland have maintained healthy and stable development of their ties since the establishment of their diplomatic relations 45 years ago.

In recent years, particularly, under the strategic guidance of President Xi Jinping and President Michael D. Higgins, the China-Ireland strategic partnership for mutually beneficial cooperation has increasingly deepened, and exchanges and cooperation in various fields have continuously expanded, bringing tangible benefits to the two peoples, Li said.

China is ready to work with Ireland to carry forward traditional friendship, consolidate political mutual trust, deepen mutually beneficial cooperation and share development opportunities more fully, in a bid to bring more benefits to the two countries and the two peoples, Li noted.

Li expressed China’s willingness to work with the Irish side to adhere to mutual respect and trust, strive to seek common ground while shelving and resolving differences, deepen mutual understanding, and support each other on major issues.

China and Ireland should continuously expand trade, strengthen cooperation in green and low-carbon development, sustainable agriculture, finance and other fields, and expand innovation cooperation in digital economy, biomedicine and artificial intelligence, making the pie of cooperation bigger, he said.

China will apply unilateral visa-free policy to Ireland to facilitate personnel exchanges between the two countries, Li said, voicing the expectation that Ireland will provide an open, fair and non-discriminatory business environment for Chinese enterprises.

China is willing to strengthen coordination and cooperation with Ireland within the United Nations and other multilateral frameworks, practice genuine multilateralism, jointly tackle global challenges and promote the building of a community with a shared future for mankind, he said.

It is hoped that Ireland will play a greater role in promoting the sound and stable development of China-Europe relations, said Li.

For his part, Varadkar said that China is an important cooperative partner of Ireland, and the two countries have always adhered to mutual respect and trust.

Ireland appreciates China’s great achievements in economic and social development, always abides by the one-China principle, and hopes that China will achieve peaceful reunification at an early date, he added.

Ireland stands ready to expand two-way investment with China, strengthen bilateral cooperation in such fields as agriculture, food, innovation, and green development, and deepen people-to-people exchanges in education and culture, Varadkar continued.

The Irish side is willing to actively consider providing more convenience for Chinese citizens to visit Ireland, and welcomes more Chinese enterprises to invest and do business in Ireland, he noted, adding that Ireland supports further deepening  -China cooperation.

Prior to the talks, Li attended a grand welcome ceremony held by Varadkar and reviewed the Irish Guard of Honor.

Chinese Premier Li Qiang holds talks with Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar at Farmleigh House, the official Irish state guest house, in Dublin, Ireland, Jan. 17, 2024.

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