DUBLIN, June 18 (Xinhua) -- Liu Yunshan, a senior official of the Communist Party of China (CPC), concluded his three-day visit to Ireland on Tuesday, vowing to build stronger ties with the European country.
China and Ireland, though far apart in distance, shared broad common interests on bilateral and international affairs, said Liu, a member of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee, at a meeting with Irish President Michael D. Higgins.
Sino-Irish ties had developed steadily for years and formed a multi-layer exchange pattern of trusting each other politically, benefiting each other economically, and learning from each other culturally, Liu said.
This year marks the 35th anniversary of the establishment of China-Ireland diplomatic relations. Liu said China was ready to make joint efforts with Ireland to enrich the content of the mutually beneficial strategic partnership between the two countries continuously and promote Sino-Irish ties to a new stage.
Higgins said Ireland and China shared similar historical experiences so the two peoples understood each other and felt close to each other.
Higgins said the Irish side believed it was very important to advance comprehensive cooperative ties with China and he hoped the two countries could further strengthen cooperation in medical science, modern agriculture and tourism.
Noting that cultural exchanges and learning are conducive to world peace and development, Liu said China was willing to jointly promote the level of cultural exchanges with Ireland and push forward a deep development of the mutually beneficial Sino-Irish strategic partnership
"The Irish culture is unique and characteristic. The literary works of George Bernard Shaw and William Butler Yeats are deeply favored by the Chinese people," Liu said.
Higgins, a politician and poet, echoed Liu's views, saying culture was diversified and colorful, and exchanges between different cultures demonstrated the inclusiveness of culture.
The Irish and Chinese cultures were both rich in content and enjoyed broad space for exchanges, the president said, adding boosting cultural cooperation would inject new vitality into bilateral relations.
During his visit, Liu attended a conference of newly established Confucius institutes in Europe and delivered a keynote speech, calling for efforts to build a spiritual high-speed railway interlinking the Chinese dream, dreams of different countries and the world dream. He also visited a typical Irish farm.
EXPORTS OF LIVESTOCK PRODUCTS
While meeting Liu, Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny said Tuesday Ireland was eager to expand exports of its livestock products to China.
"The Irish government stands ready to actively push forward the economic cooperation between our two countries, and is eager to see an accelerated solution to the Irish export of livestock products to China," Kenny said.
Kenny said Ireland attached great importance to its relations with China, especially at a time when Dublin was confronted with economic restructuring despite the passage of the most difficult time in a sovereign debt crisis.
"To develop closer partnership with China is a priority in Ireland's overall foreign policy," he said. "It would deliver a strong boost to the recovery of the Irish economy by strengthening economic and trade cooperation with China."
Echoing Kenny, Liu said China was willing to work with Ireland to grasp the opportunity to deepen the mutually beneficial partnership between the two countries.
"China is also restructuring its economy. There is huge potential and bright prospects for cooperation between our two countries," he said.
During a meeting with Irish Deputy Prime Minister Eamon Gilmore, Liu said China-Ireland relations were now in their best shape in history, adding China's plan to comprehensively deepening reform had provided a new opportunity for exchanges and cooperation in various fields.
The Chinese government encouraged and supported Chinese enterprises to invest abroad with a stronger sense of responsibility and awareness of law, he said. He also welcomed more Irish enterprises to invest in China.
As a senior CPC party official, Liu made extensive contact with Irish party leaders to promote party-to-party exchanges.
The CPC attached importance to the Irish Labor Party's proposal for the establishment of a regular exchange mechanism, Liu told Gilmore, who leads the Labor Party.
The CPC was ready to enhance high-level reciprocal visits and exchanges among young politicians, strengthen strategic dialogue, and boost the healthy development of the two countries' relations by deepening inter-party exchanges, he said.
Gilmore said his party had maintained a sound relationship of cooperation with the CPC, adding exchanges between the two political parties would help them deepen understanding.
The Labor Party was willing to broaden exchanges with the CPC at various levels, set up a mechanism for party-to-party exchanges, and further boost their pragmatic cooperation, he said.
Ireland is the third leg of Liu's ongoing four-nation Europe tour, which has taken him to Denmark and Finland, and will conclude in Portugal.