China and Ireland on Sunday pledged to cement their relationship and expand cooperation.
The pledge came out of the meeting between Chinese Vice President Xi Jinping and Irish President Mary McAleese, who was here to attend the Shanghai World Expo's Irish National Pavilion Day on June 17.
Praising the "strategic view" of the Irish government in developing relations with China, Xi said the two countries should take a long-term view of the relationship in consideration of China-Europe relations and the international situation, respect each other and strengthen cooperation.
"China will work with Ireland to promote the continuous development of bilateral relations," Xi said.
McAleese hailed the smooth development of Ireland-China relations, growing trade and cooperation between the two countries in the 30 years since the establishment of ties.
She said Ireland would continue to promote its Asia strategy with China at the core.
The two sides also proposed suggestions to further cement ties.
Xi said the two countries should maintain high-level exchanges of visits, strengthen communication and coordination on major international and regional issues, including international political and economic order, climate change and non-proliferation, and strengthen political mutual trust.
The two sides should encourage cross investment, and exploit cooperation in such areas as information and communications, bio-pharmacy, energy efficiency and environmental protection, Xi said.
They should strengthen exchanges and cooperation in culture, education and technology, promote people-to-people exchanges, so as to increase mutual understanding and friendship, he said.
McAleese said Ireland hoped to maintain high-level contacts with China, expand reciprocal cooperation, strengthen communication and coordination under multilateral frameworks, such as the United Nations and the Asia Europe Meeting, and jointly promote world peace, stability and prosperity.
She also wished the Shanghai Expo a great success, saying she hoped it would deepen the friendship between the Chinese and Irish peoples.
McAleese arrived in China Sunday and is scheduled to leave Beijing for Shanghai on Wednesday. During her stay in Shanghai, she will attend activities of the Irish National Pavilion Day, and tour the Irish and Chinese pavilions.