Ireland "Country of Honour" in major Chinese New Year Festival in Beijing10 February 2013
Ireland will be Country of Honour in the 11th Beijing Chaoyang International Spring Carnival, to be held in Chaoyang Park, Beijing, from 10-15 February 2013. The annual Carnival is a highlight of Beijing’s Chinese New Year celebrations. Beijing and Dublin were twinned in 2011, and the event is part of the Chinese New Year festivities in both cities. Ireland’s participation in the Carnival is supported by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, through the Irish Embassy in Beijing.
Over 500,000 people are expected to visit the event over the next six days. Vibrant cultural performances will be provided by the Galway-based theatre company Macnas, and by Jig: the Story of Irish Dance. Tourism Ireland, Enterprise Ireland and a number of Irish higher education institutions will be promoting tourism and education opportunities and Irish food, drink and giftware will be showcased.
Welcoming the announcement the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Eamon Gilmore T.D., said:
“The invitation to be the Country of Honour demonstrates the rising interest about Ireland in China. These people-to-people contacts play a vital part in building our relations with China and strengthen the ties that recent political and trade visits have generated. Last year’s successful visit to Ireland by China’s leader Xi Jingping and the twinning of Dublin with Beijing have raised awareness among the Chinese public of the many opportunities Ireland offers, whether for tourism, education or business. This is a key objective of our strategy for engaging with China and one which, as Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, I look forward to advancing further in the period ahead.”