Sister province since: December 2, 2017
Northern Ireland lies in the northeast of the island of Ireland, covering around 14,000 square kilometers, about a sixth of the island’s total area. Northern Ireland is the only region in the UK that shares a land border with other countries. Most of its 1.69 million people are Irish. Its capital is Belfast.
Relations with Hubei
Hubei and Northern Ireland formally signed an agreement on establishing sister relations during the Third UK-China Regional Leaders Summit in December 2017.
Hubei Normal University has started to cooperate with Ulster University of Northern Ireland since 2011. The Confucius Institute, jointly established by Hubei Normal University and Ulster University, is the largest Confucius Institute in Europe and among the top ten in the world. The eight Confucius Classroom Hubs, co-built by the two sides, can be found in 123 primary and secondary schools across Northern Ireland. These hubs have promoted the Chinese language and Chinese culture and enhanced the friendship between people in the two countries.
At the beginning of 2020, when it was the most crucial time for the people in Hubei Province to fight the Covid-19 pandemic, the First Minister and the Deputy First Minister of Northern Ireland wrote to Governor Wang Xiaodong to extend their concerns and support. The students and teachers from the Ulster University Confucius Institute performed a Chinese song, Let the World Be Full of Love, dedicated to people suffering from Covid-19 in China. The song went viral on social media and warmed people’s hearts.