On June 8, 2015, CWA was privileged to be part of the inauguration ceremony of the Chinese Consulate-General in Belfast. This opening heralded a new era of China-United Kingdom relations and cemented the good relations between Northern Ireland and China. It was welcomed by the Chinese Community here and will bring prosperity and better relations between our two great nations.

Over 200 people from all circles in China and Northern Ireland as well as the UK at large were present, including Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi who was paying an official visit to the UK, H.E. Liu Xiaoming, Chinese Ambassador to the UK, Lord Lieutenant of Belfast Fionnuala Jay-O’Boyle, Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness of Northern Ireland, Finance and Personnel Minister Arlene Foster, representing First Minister Peter Robinson, other Executive Ministers, Lord Chief Justice Declan Morgan, Lord Mayor of Belfast City Council Arder Carson, MPs, MLAs, mayors of other councils, councillors etc.

pastedGraphic.png

Wang Yi said in his speech that China’s establishment of the Consulate-General in Belfast is a vivid portrayal of the ever-developing China-UK relations, highlighting this important year in the China-UK relations. Despite of my short visit to Northern Ireland, I have a keen sense of Northern Ireland’s urgent desire to develop friendly relations with China. China’s establishment of the Consulate-General in Belfast is to send a clear signal that China is committed to developing long-term, stable, friendly and cooperative relations with Northern Ireland. China is willing to work with Northern Ireland to strengthen cooperation in agriculture and animal husbandry, and import more high-quality agricultural products from Northern Ireland; give play to their respective advantages, promote two-way investment and expand cooperation in areas such as innovation, environmental protection and electronic communications; jointly make the Confucius Institutes and Confucius Classrooms a success to let more young people in Northern Ireland know about the Chinese culture and master the Chinese language to broaden employment channels; and promote tourism cooperation to give more Chinese tourists the opportunity to enjoy the beautiful scenery of Northern Ireland and feel the friendly affection of people in Northern Ireland. We will take the inauguration of the Consulate-General as a starting point to open up a new chapter of friendly cooperation between China and Northern Ireland.

pastedGraphic_1.png

Wang Yi said that the overseas Chinese in Northern Ireland have made positive contributions to the development and prosperity of the region. The newly-established Consulate-General will provide better and more convenient consular service for the overseas Chinese in Northern Ireland. He hoped the Consulate-General will become a window for Northern Ireland to learn more about China, a bridge to promote mutually beneficial cooperation between the two sides and a bond to connect the hearts of the two peoples.

Liu Xiaoming said that the new member of Chinese diplomatic agencies in the UK will contribute to more comprehensive China-UK cooperation covering all regions. In recent years, China and Northern Ireland have deepened exchanges and cooperation in areas such as economy, trade, culture, education, science and technology. The establishment of the Consulate-General in Belfast meets the practical needs of the two sides to expand cooperation, and shows China’s full confidence in Northern Ireland’s peace and stability and China’s high expectations for the prospect of cooperation with Northern Ireland.