Ambassador He meets with Chairman Brendan Smith

On 31st July, Ambassador He Xiangdong met with Mr. Brendan Smith T.D., Chairman of Joint Committee on Foreign Affairs and Trade and Defence of House of Oireachtas, and exchanged views on parliamentary exchanges between the two countries and bilateral cooperation in various fields including economic and trade, investment, education, culture and tourism.

Ambassador He said since 1979, remarkable achievements have been made in mutual beneficial cooperation between China and Ireland, and the Joint Committee on Foreign Affairs and Trade and Defence takes a constructive role in this process.

The Ambassador stressed that 2019 marks the 40th anniversary of establishment of diplomatic relations between China and Ireland. China is continuously and firmly pushing forward reform and opening up, working on accomplishing the modernization of the country, and improving people's livelihood. Ireland has prominent advantages in various fields including high education, green agriculture and food, advanced medical science and innovative technology, and is blessed with wonderful tourism resources. Various local governments in Ireland expressed a strong will to establish friendship with China. These positive factors form the good foundation and immense potential for the further development of the bilateral relations between our two countries. The Chinese side is ready to take this great opportunity to deepen the friendly relations and cooperation between the two countries. The Ambassador expressed his expectation for Chairman Smith and the Joint Committee to make greater efforts to ensure a fair and just treatment for Chinese enterprises operating in Ireland and adopt more visa facilitation measurements for Chinese citizens.

Chairman Smith said that Ireland attaches great importance to its cooperation and friendship with China. The Irish Parliament is willing to further deepen the bilateral relations in various fields. As the Chairman of Joint Committee on Foreign Affairs and Trade and Defence, he would like to work together with other members of the Parliament to make more efforts on pushing forward the Ireland-China relations.

Ambassador He also briefed Mr. Smith the recent situation of Hong Kong. He pointed out that under the British colonial rule, the executive and legislative officials in Hong Kong were appointed either by the British government or its colonial authority in Hong Kong, and all demonstrations should be authorized by the Royal Police Authority. There were no democracy and freedom in Hong Kong. It's not until Hong Kong's return to motherland in 1997 that residents in Hong Kong came to enjoy an unprecedently level of freedom and rights. What happened in Hong Kong recently has nothing to do with the freedom of speech and assembly. Radical and violent behaviors violate law, challenge rule by law and directly undermine prosperity and stability in Hong Kong. Someone talking about the democracy and freedom in Hong Kong are totally hypocritical with ulterior motive.

Mr. Smith agreed that all demonstrations should be peaceful and abide by law instead of violating rule of law.

They also exchanged views on Brexit and other issues of mutual interests.

Also present were Mr. Shen Mingchun, Chief of Political and Press Section of the Embassy and Mr. Noel Murphy, Clerk to the Joint Committee.