Xi: Parliamentary cooperation with Ireland important

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Chinese Vice President Xi Jinping (C) met with Sean Barrett (R),chairman of Ireland's lower house of parliament, and Paddy Burke, chairman of upper house of parliament, in Dublin on Feb 20, 2012. [Xinhua Photo]

Chinese Vice President Xi Jinping met with Ireland's parliament leaders on Monday, highlighting importance of parliamentary cooperation in promoting bilateral relationship.

Xi made the remarks when meeting with Sean Barrett,chairman of Dail Eireann, the lower house of parliament, and Paddy Burke, chairman of Seanad Eireann, Ireland's upper house of parliament, in Dublin on Monday.

"China and Ireland enjoys a long friendship with mutual respect. Both countries share common characteristics in attaching importance to education, agriculture and people's wisdom. China-Ireland ties continue to maintain the good momentum of steady growth in 2011," Xi said, adding that China has been Ireland's biggest trade partner in Asia for five continuous years.

Xi noted that the development of relationship between China and Ireland shows that divides on cultural tradition, territory difference and social system could not be barriers between bilateral friendly ties as long as both parties treat each other basing on the spirits of equality, mutual trust and mutual benefit.

Parliamentary cooperation is an important part in bilateral ties, said Xi, adding that, for years, the Ireland's parliament has always been supportive to One-China policy and China-Ireland relationships.

Xi wished bilateral legislative departments enhance their communications by making full use of China-Ireland friendship group.

While mentioning China's great achievements made in the past 30 years, Sean Barrett and Paddy Burke, on their part, said Ireland has been moving towards knowledge-oriented economy during the past dozens of years and people of both countries are closely connected by common developing stories and long tradition of civilization.

Moreover, Burke spoke highly of the contribution made by Irish-Chinese people, adding that he hopes Ireland and China could further promote cooperation under new circumstances.

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