Published Friday, 13 April 2012
Madame Liu met NI''s leaders on Thursday. (© Presseye)
Around 1,000 Chinese students will study for degrees in pharmaceutical science at the new campus in Shenyang in the north east of the country, trained jointly by staff from the two universities.
Madame Liu Yandong, a state councillor and the highest ranking female politician in the ruling Communist Party in China, will visit Queen's on Friday to witness the signing of collaborative agreements with Peking University and the Chinese Scholarship Council.
It is a red letter day for Queen's University Belfast, for Northern Ireland and for China.
Sir Peter Gregson, QUB Vice-Chancellor
Queen's Vice-Chancellor Sir Peter Gregson described Friday's agreements as "a sign of the powerful relationships that Queen's University has built with its Chinese partners and a symbol of good fortune for Northern Ireland, through its strengthened links with an internationally recognised superpower".
He added: "The creation of a joint college with one of China's top health science universities is based on a real and vibrant partnership.
"It will provide many opportunities and deliver real outcomes for society in China, in the UK and in Ireland."
Madame Liu is currently on an official visit to Northern Ireland to enhance relations between the region and China, having arrived in Belfast in Thursday.
Ahead of the visit to Queen's, she attended the launch of the new Confucius Institute at the University of Ulster's Jordanstown campus and officially opened the facility.
"We are deeply honoured that Madam Liu is here today to launch the Institute, which marks a major stage in the work of the university and its role as a global establishment of learning," First Minister Peter Robinson said.
Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness added: "I trust that this will open new doors to future partnerships across many spheres and I commend the University of Ulster on being selected to be part of the prestigious Confucius worldwide network."
Professor Pól Ó Dochartaigh, Dean of the Faculty of the Arts, said the event marked a significant gear shift in the relationship between Northern Ireland and China.
"Northern Ireland has traditionally tended to look at either Boston or Berlin in terms of forging educational, business and cultural links - but it is becoming more apparent that it would be foolish to ignore Beijing," he said.
"China is already the world's second largest economy and it is swiftly closing the gap on the United States. We need to make sure we are ready for that."
© UTV News