TAOISEACH ENDA KENNY has emphasised the “special relationship” between Ireland and China as the visit by vice president Xi Jinping enters its final day.
The Chinese vice president is due to visit Aras an Uachtaráin this morning to meet Michael D Higgins before travelling to Leinster House.
Afterwards he will attend a forum on trade and investment between Ireland and China at the Royal Hospital in Kilmainham in Dublin. The event, hosted by Enterprise Ireland, will be attended by representatives from businesses from both Ireland and China.
The Taoiseach last welcomed the growing links in trade, education and tourism between the two countries and said that he hopes to visit China in the near future.
“Although vastly different size and separated by a great distance, we have much in common,” the Taoiseach told an audience at a dinner in Dublin Castle last night.
“We both have a rich cultural heritage and a shared appreciation for what is good about our past, and we the power of tradition in music, in dance, and in words, and in society as a whole”.
“At the same time we both understand the need to reform and innovate as we move forward and just as China has transformed itself in its recent history, so too has Ireland”.
The Taoiseach said that he hopes to make a visit to China in the near future and said that the visit by Xi would open a new chapter in the “special relationship” between Ireland and China.
Yesterday the Chinese vice president, who is expected to take over as the leader of China’s Communist Party later this year, visited the Cliffs of Moher, a dairy farm in Clare, Croke Park, and a performance of Riverdance in Belvedere College in Dublin.
He is due to leave Ireland at lunchtime today.