In 2013, the People's Republic of China and Ireland deepened political trust, increased win-win cooperation, conducted closer people-to-people and cultural exchanges, and enriched the strategic partnership of mutual benefit.
The two countries had frequent high-level exchanges. In March, Irish President Michael D. Higgins, Taoiseach Enda Kenny and Speaker Sean Barrett of Dail Eireann, the lower house of the Irish Parliament, sent letters of congratulations respectively to President Xi Jinping, Premier Li Keqiang, NPC Chairman Zhang Dejiang and CPPCC Chairman Yu Zhengsheng on their assumption of new posts. In October, Vice Premier Ma Kai visited Ireland. He met with Taoiseach Enda Kenny and held talks with Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade Eamon Gilmore. In May, Sean Barrett and Paddy Burke, Speakers of Dail Eireann, the House of Representatives, and Seanad Eireann, the Senate of Ireland, visited China together. In July, Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade Eamon Gilmore visited China.
Business cooperation moved to a higher level and became broader. In July, Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation Richard Bruton visited China. The two countries carried out extensive cooperation in such areas as investment, breeding stock and dairy business.
The two countries had close exchanges in various fields. In May, Minister of the National Health and Family Planning Commission Li Bin and Chairman of the CPPCC Foreign Affairs Committee Pan Yunhe paid separate visits to Ireland. In June, Vice Minister of Agriculture Zhang Taolin visited Ireland. In September, Chief of the State Internet Information Office Lu Wei visited Ireland. Minister for Education and Skills Ruairi Quinn and Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform Brendan Howlin visited China separately. Friendship cities of the two countries had close interactions and more provinces or cities were exploring ties of friendship.