Ireland is a sovereign state in western Europe, occupying about five-sixths of the island of Ireland. The capital and largest city is Dublin, whose metropolitan area is home to around a quarter of the country’s 4.6 million inhabitants. The state shares its only land border with Northern Ireland. It is a unitary, parliamentary Ireland is a sovereign state in western Europe, occupying about five-sixths of trepublic with an elected president serving as head of state. The head of government is nominated by the lower house of parliament.
爱尔兰是一个西欧主权国家，国土面积占爱尔兰岛的 5/6，仅与北爱尔兰接壤。首都都柏林是最大的城市，人口数量约占全国 4,60万总人口的 1/4。爱尔兰是单一制议会制共和国，总统为国家元首，由选举产生。政府首脑由众议院提名产生。
Following the Irish War of Independence and the subsequent Anglo-Irish Treaty, Ireland gained independence from the United Kingdom in 1922. Initially a dominion, Ireland received official British recognition of full legislative independence in the Statute of Westminster of 1931. A new constitution was adopted in 1937, by which the name of the state became “Ireland.” In 1949, Ireland was declared a republic under the Republic of Ireland act 1948.
Ireland ranks among the wealthiest countries in the world in terms of GDP per capita. In 1973, Ireland enacted a series of liberal economic policies that resulted in rapid economic growth, coupled with a dramatic rise in inequality. The country achieved considerable prosperity from 1995 to 2007. This was halted by an unprecedented financial crisis that began in 2008, in conjunction with the concurrent global economic crash.
按人均GDP来看，爱尔兰位居全世界最富有国家之列。1973 年，爱尔兰颁布了一系列自由经济政策，推动了经济快速增长，也造成社会不平等问题的加剧。1995 年至 2007 年，爱尔兰经济蓬勃发展。然而，随着 2008 年空前的金融危机与世界经济崩溃，这一良好经济展势头戛然而止。
In 2011 and 2013 Ireland was ranked as the seventh-most developed country in the world by the United Nations Human Development Index. It also performs well in several metrics of national performance, including freedom of the press, economic freedom and civil liberties. It pursues a policy of neutrality through non-alignment.
The population of Ireland stood at 4,588,252 in 2011, an increase of 8.2% since 2006. As of 2011, Ireland had the highest birth rate in the European Union (16 births per 1,000 of population). In 2012, 35.1% of births were to unmarried women.
Annual population growth rates exceeded 2% during the 2002-2006 period, which was attributed to high rates of natural increase and immigration. This rate declined somewhat during the subsequent 2006-2011 period, with an average growth rate of 1.6%.
Ireland ranks fifth in the world in terms of gender equality. In 2011, Ireland was ranked the most charitable country in Europe, and second most charitable in the world. Contraception was controlled in Ireland until 1979, however, the receding influence of the Catholic Church has led to an increasingly secularized society .
In 1983, the Eighth Amendment recognized “the right to life of the unborn”, subject to qualifications concerning the “equal right to life” of the mother. The passage of the Thirteenth and Fourteenth Amendments, guaranteeing the right to have an abortion performed abroad, and the right to learn about “services” that are illegal in Ireland but legal abroad. The prohibition on divorce in the 1937 Constitution was repealed in 1995 under the Fifteenth Amendment. Divorce rates in Ireland are very low compared to European Union averages while the marriage rate in Ireland is slightly above the European Union average.
Capital punishment is constitutionally banned in Ireland, while discrimination based on age, gender, sexual orientation, marital or familial status, religion, race is illegal.
Ireland became the first country in the world to introduce an environmental levy for plastic shopping bags in 2002 and a public smoking ban in 2004. Recycling in Ireland is carried out extensively and Ireland has the second highest rate of packaging recycling in the European Union.
“No conflict or confrontation” is the prerequisite for the new model of major-country relations between us. According to some study of history, there have been about 15 cases of rise of emerging powers. In 11 cases, confrontation and war broke out between the emerging and the established powers. However, we now live in a different world. China and the United States and in fact all countries in the world are part of a community of shared interests. Countries are increasingly interconnected. Neither of us will benefit from confrontation. War will get us nowhere. “No conflict or confrontation” means that we need to follow the trend of globalization, reverse negative projections of China-US relations, address strategic distrust and build confidence in the future of China-US relations.
“Mutual respect” is a basic principle for this new model. We live in a world of rich diversity. For China and the United States, two major countries different in social system, history and culture yet connected by intertwined interests, mutual respect is all the more important. Only by respecting each other’s system and path chosen by their people, as well as each other’s core interests and concerns can we seek common ground while reserving differences and, on that basis, expand common ground and dissolve differences so that China and the United States will be able to live together in harmony.
“Win-win cooperation” is the only way to turn the vision into a reality. There is an enormous need and vast potential for bilateral cooperation in all fields. Besides, the world certainly needs China and the United States, two major countries with great influence, to work together and contribute on issues ranging from counterterrorism to cyber security, from nuclear non-proliferation to climate change, and from peace in the Middle East to Africa’s development. Win-win progress is only possible when both countries are committed to growing cooperation. Moreover, such win-win outcome should not just be beneficial to China and the United States, it should also be beneficial to all countries in the world.