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Chinese President meets Irish parliament leaders


16:43, May 17, 2013

BEIJING, May 17 (Xinhua) -- Chinese President Xi Jinping met with Irish parliamentary leaders Sean Barrett and Paddy Burke in Beijing on Friday, calling on the two sides to cement exchange and cooperation.

Barrett and Burke, chairman respectively of Dail Eireann and Seanad Eireann, the two houses of the Irish parliament, are on a week-long visit to China as guests of Zhang Dejiang, chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress (NPC), the country's top legislature.

Xi recalled his visit to Ireland last year, noting that the two nations share common aspirations for promoting the national development and well-being of their people.

The relationship between the two nations, especially since the establishment of the China-Ireland strategic partnership last year, has set an example for countries to coexist despite their different cultures and political systems, Xi said.

The Chinese president vowed that China would make concerted efforts with the Irish side to boost exchange and cooperation between governments as well as parliaments to enhance political mutual trust and step up the bilateral pragmatic cooperation to a higher level in an aim to bring more concrete benefits to the people of both nations.

Xi also briefed the Irish parliament leaders on the latest developments of China, attributing the progress the country has achieved to the socialist road with Chinese characteristics.

"We will adhere to such a development path," Xi told Barrett and Burke, adding that the growth of China has offered a huge market and opportunities to the nations of the world, including Ireland, and made its contribution to promote world peace, stability and prosperity.

Barrett and Burke expressed their admiration of China's achievements since the country adopted the opening-up policy, noting that the Irish side expects to boost exchange and cooperation with China in various fields. They also said they hope to increase mutual understanding between the two peoples and work together with China to push forward bilateral relations.

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