Xi meets Irish PM on enhancing bilateral ties

China.org.cn, February 20, 2012

Visiting Chinese Vice President Xi Jinping on Sunday held talks with Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny on deepening bilateral ties between the two countries.

Chinews Vice President Xi Jinping (L) shakes hands with Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny on Sunday. Xi arrived Saturday in Shannon, a scenic city in Ireland, kicking off his official visit to the country known as "Emerale Isle."

Xi visited the Shannon Free Zone in west Ireland Saturday and said that China and Ireland should deepen their mutually beneficial economic cooperation.

As one of the world's first and most successful economic development zones, the Shannon Free Zone has not only made an important contribution to Ireland's economic growth but also offered useful experience and insights for many other countries seeking to open up and develop their economies, Xi said.

He said China and Ireland have their respective economic advantages, and they should make further efforts to learn from each other.

The vice president said China and Ireland need to strengthen mutually beneficial economic cooperation and make sustaining efforts to promote long-term, sound and steady development of bilateral relations.

Vincent Cunnane, chief executive of Shannon Development, said Xi's visit to the zone showed Chinese leaders attach great importance to enhancing China-Ireland economic and trade relations.

Cunnane and other zone officials said they were ready to further enhance cooperation with China in such areas as aviation, transportation and financial services to benefit the two peoples.

Xi arrived in scenic Shannon on Saturday, kicking off his official visit to Ireland at the invitation of Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny.

During the stay, Xi will have meetings with Irish President Michael Higgins, Kenny, and other leaders.

On Sunday afternoon, Xi watched Gaelic football and hurling matches, which are typical and most popular games in Ireland.

Ireland is the second leg of Xi's three-nation tour. He had visited the United States, and will also fly to Turkey.