On the occasion of his visit to China, Mr. Seán Canney, T.D., Minister of State for the Office of Public Works and Flood Relief has met with Mr Huang Rong, Shanghai Deputy Secretary General for Flood Relief.
On his first visit to Shanghai. Minister Canney said he was hugely impressed by the scale, sophistication and smooth operating of the city. Shanghai is certainly a city of international standing.
“As you may know, Ireland enjoys a very strong and warm bilateral relationship with China. That warm bilateral relationship over the past decades has been consolidated in recent years by the visit by President Xi Jinping to Ireland in February 2012 and the return visit by the Taoiseach a month later. We have a strategic partnership agreement in place and very regular high-level visits in each direction, including most recently the visit of the President of Ireland, Michael D. Higgins to China in December 2014 and the subsequent visit of Premier Li Keqiang in May 2015.”
“In 2000 the Irish Government took the decision to establish a Consulate General in Shanghai to further deepen contacts with this hugely important city. The Consulate, in tandem with the Embassy and State Agencies present in China, has worked hard to build greater awareness of Ireland and identify possible areas of cooperation, including at municipal level.
“The Consulate has been successfully operating, for instance, the Senior Officials Training Programme for over twelve years whereby Chinese officials travel to Ireland to learn more about how we do business and in return Irish officials travel annually to Shanghai upon the invitation of the Shanghai Foreign Affairs Office to learn more of Shanghai.”
Minister Canney added: “Shanghai is also twinned with Ireland’s second largest city, Cork since 2005. The relationship is very active and strong, with cooperation in business, education, culture and tourism.”
“We both understand the importance of sustained and careful management and protection of our water management systems. Ireland, like China, experiences occasional floods, which can be devastating to the local people and the economy as I’ve witnessed in my travels to affected regions within Ireland.
“My Government plans to spend €100 million per year on flood relief measures in the coming years, part of which will fund a relocation programme this year for those who had been subject to repeat flooding.
“I’m sure there is much common experience and lessons learned that we can share when it comes to effective water management and flood prevention and relief programmes. I look forward to continued exchanges of ideas with you in the coming months on such issues.”