Roundup: N. Ireland officials, academics expect stronger ties with China

0 Comment(s)Print E-mail Xinhua, April 1, 2023
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BELFAST, Britain, April 1 (Xinhua) -- Officials and academics from Northern Ireland have expressed their willingness to enhance exchanges and cooperation with China during their meetings earlier this week with Chinese Ambassador to the United Kingdom (UK) Zheng Zeguang.

The head of Northern Ireland Civil Service Jayne Brady said that Northern Ireland has long-standing friendly exchanges with China and attaches great importance to developing relations with China.

Northern Ireland enjoys strong technological advantages in fields such as green economy, financial services, and food safety, and has the geographical advantage as a bridge connecting the two major markets of the European Union and the UK, Brady added.

She welcomed Chinese companies to invest in Northern Ireland and expressed hope that hydrogen-powered buses, whiskey, and other products from Northern Ireland would enter the Chinese market.

Northern Ireland, Brady added, would also like to further expand exchanges and cooperation with China in education, culture, tourism, etc.

Zheng said that in recent years, China and Northern Ireland have carried out fruitful cooperation in business and trade, education, culture and other fields, bringing tangible benefits to both sides, and that cooperation in new energy innovations have great potential.

China, the ambassador said, welcomes more high-quality products from Northern Ireland to enter the Chinese market and more people to go to China.

He said that China also supports cities and institutions of the two sides to strengthen partnerships, encourages more two-way personnel exchanges, to boost practical cooperation and bring more benefits to the peoples.

In a separate meeting with Zheng, Lord Mayor of Belfast City Council Christina Black said that in 2016, Belfast became a sister city of Shenyang in northeast China, and since then the two sides had made positive progress in mutually beneficial cooperation in business, trade, education, and culture.

Belfast is eager to promote cooperation between the two sides, and welcome more Chinese investors, students and tourists, Black added.

Ian Greer, president and vice-chancellor of Queen's University Belfast, said that his university attaches great importance to exchanges and cooperation with Chinese universities and welcomes more Chinese students to study there.

The university values China's strength in research and huge potential of development and would like to further deepen cooperation with Chinese scientific research institutions, Greer added.

In his meeting with Zheng, Paul Bartholomew, vice-chancellor at Ulster University, said his university cherishes its cooperation with China and has established partnerships with many Chinese universities.

Ulster University, he added, looks forward to further strengthen the cooperation, and welcomes more Chinese students to study there.

Ulster University will continue to run the Confucius Institute and play an active role in promoting educational cooperation and cultural exchanges between Northern Ireland and China, he noted. Enditem

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