21 Nov 2019, 11.20
Ceann Comhairle Seán Ó Fearghail and the Chinese Ambassador to Ireland He Xiangdong co-hosted a ‘Taste of Ireland-China’ reception, in the Private Dining Room at Leinster House, last night.
The reception was a celebration of the work TDs and Senators undertake as part of the Ireland-China Friendship Group, and an opportunity to celebrate the ever-closer friendship, and growing social, economic and political links between Ireland and China.
Speaking after the event, the Ceann Comhairle Seán Ó Fearghaíl TD said: “It was a pleasure to meet with H.E. Ambassador He Xiangdong, Chinese Ambassador to Ireland, in Leinster House yesterday as part of the ‘Taste of Ireland-China’ evening with the Ireland-China Friendship Group.
“The evening was an opportunity to once again reiterate Ireland’s firm and unwavering commitment to the One-China policy.
“Increasingly strong trade links, impressive trade growth in recent years, and effective relations enable both our countries to confidently and respectfully discuss issues of importance inside and outside our respective borders, and it was also fitting that we would host this event in the year that marks the 40th Anniversary of the establishment of Diplomatic Relations between Ireland and China. Since this beginning, our two countries and our people have grown closer and stronger, together.”
The Ambassador expressed sincere gratitude, for the Ceann Comhairle’s “brilliant idea” for the event and great contribution of the Friendship Group to Sino-Irish relations.
Ambassador He said: “During the past 40 years since its establishment, China-Ireland diplomatic relations have enjoyed magnificent development and sound momentum in fields of political, economic and trade, investment, culture, education and tourism.
“To ensure better bilateral relations, some fundamental principles are of vital importance. The two countries shall adhere to the principles stated in Joint Communique on 1979, and abide by the ‘One China’ principle. We shall consolidate mutual understanding and political trust, unleash the great potential of economic cooperation, and enhance exchanges between the two peoples.
“I, together with the Embassy will continue to work along with the Friendship Group and all Irish friends to jointly promote China-Ireland relations to a new height.”
Chinese chefs led by Zhang Yi and a team from the Houses of the Oireachtas including catering manager John Walsh and chef Julie Lyons prepared the evening’s buffet menu which included Chinese food with a distinct Irish flavour.
Note: Parliamentary friendship groups are a long-standing feature of inter-parliamentary activity in national parliaments across the world. They are informal cross-party groups, whose main aim is to cultivate bilateral relationships with other countries and their parliamentarians.