BEIJING, June 22 (Xinhua) -- Chinese President Xi Jinping on Saturday exchanged greetings with his Irish counterpart Michael D. Higgins on the 40th anniversary of the establishment of bilateral relations.
Since the forging of the diplomatic ties 40 years ago, the two countries have been adhering to the spirit of mutual respect, treating each other on an equal footing, mutual benefit and win-win to push forward healthy and stable development of the bilateral relations and scored fruitful achievements in exchanges and cooperation in various fields, Xi said in a congratulatory message.
President Higgins paid a state visit to China in 2014 and the two heads of state conducted in-depth and friendly exchanges and mapped out a blueprint of China-Ireland relations, Xi recalled.
The Chinese president said he attaches high attention to advancing the ties between China and Ireland and stands ready to make joint efforts with President Higgins to lift the mutually beneficial strategic partnership to a new stage to benefit the two countries and peoples while taking the 40th anniversary as a new starting point.
For his part, Higgins said in a message that, over the last four decades, the bilateral ties have become even stronger as time goes by and pragmatic cooperation in various fields have been increasingly deepening.
The Irish side highly values developing ties with China and is willing to further explore potentials for pragmatic cooperation, boost coordination on safeguarding multilateralism and other global affairs and promote the Ireland-China ties toward further development, he added.
Also on Saturday, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang and Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar exchanged congratulatory messages.
Li said China, with the opportunity of the 40th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties, is ready to work with Ireland to push the two countries' mutually beneficial strategic partnership and friendly cooperation to continuously move forward.
Varadkar said that China's reform and opening up and achievements in development carry global significance, noting that the Irish side will continue to fully develop Ireland-China partnership based on the spirit of mutual respect.