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Top Chinese legislator meets with parliamentary leaders, WHO chief
 

GENEVA, July 20 (Xinhua) -- Top Chinese legislator Wu Bangguo held separate talks here Tuesday with parliamentary leaders from South Africa, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) and Kazakhstan and the chief of the World Health Organization (WHO).

During talks with Hon Max Vuyisile Sisulu, speaker of South Africa's National Assembly, Wu, chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress (NPC) of China, said that the peoples of China and South Africa share a deep, traditional friendship.

Wu said the two countries have seen their ties develop in a rapid and all-round way since the establishment of diplomatic relations.

The two nations have carried out frequent high-level exchanges, with their mutual political trust gradually building up, Wu said.

Wu added that the two countries have also shared understanding and support on issues concerning each other's core interests and maintained close coordination and cooperation on significant international affairs.

Noting that economic and trade cooperation continues to expand and that people-to-people exchanges are also gaining momentum, Wu stressed that all those efforts have brought visible and practical benefits to the two countries and their people.

China attaches great importance to promoting its relationship with South Africa, and at a time when the international situation is undergoing deep and complex changes, relations between the two big developing countries have transcended the bilateral category and gained increasing global and strategic significance, Wu said.

Expressing hope that the two sides can join hands in enhancing their strategic partnership, Wu emphasized that the NPC is ready to consolidate friendly cooperation with South Africa's National Assembly and deepen their coordination and cooperation in international and regional parliamentary organizations.

The two legislatures should also work together with their counterparts in other developing countries to call for more attention on development and express their resolve to realize the UN Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), Wu said.

For his part, Sisulu said that China is an very important nation on the international stage and an important cooperation partner of South Africa.

South Africa's government, parliament and political parties are committed to promoting ties with China, and are hoping for more friendly exchanges and cooperation with China in more areas, he stressed.

Sisulu said that a closer relationship with China will benefit South Africa's economic development and enable his country to better cooperate with China in handling global challenges and defending the interests of developing countries.

While meeting Choe Thae Bok, chairman of the Supreme People's Assembly (SPA) of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK), Wu said the traditional China-DPRK friendship, which has withstood the changes of international situations, has been treasured by the peoples of the two countries.

China has valued its relations with the DPRK and will firmly carry out the strategy of developing China-DPRK good-neighborly and friendly cooperation, Wu said.

He said China is willing to maintain high-level exchanges, strengthen strategic dialogue, deepen economic and trade cooperation, expand people-to-people and cultural exchanges and advance common interests so as to benefit the two peoples.

Choe said that as China's good friend, the DPRK is happy to witness China's economic and social achievements. Choe added that the SPA hopes to enhance its exchanges with the NPC and to make greater contributions to the DPRK-China friendship.

At his meeting with Kasymzhomart Tokayev, Wu said that China and Kazakhstan are good neighbors, good friends and good partners, whose relations have maintained good momentum of development all the time.

Chinese President Hu Jintao's recent visit to Kazakhstan was a great success and the heads of state of both countries reached broad consensus on the deepening of bilateral strategic cooperation and major international and regional matters of common concern, Wu said.

The two countries signed a chain of agreements on cooperation in energy and non-resources areas, increased political mutual trust, and enhanced trade and economic cooperation, he said.

He said they also expanded cultural and people-to-people exchanges, and conducted close communications and coordination within the United Nations and other multilateral frameworks.

China is willing to work with Kazakhstan to fully implement the consensus reached between the heads of states of both countries and lift bilateral relations to a new height, Wu said.

China's National People's Congress attaches great importance to fostering relations with the Kazakh parliament and is ready to strengthen exchanges and cooperation between the leaders of the two parliaments and their special committees, Wu said.

Tokayev said it is a priority of Kazakh foreign policy to consolidate and develop the country's strategic partnership with China.

Speaking highly of Hu's recent visit to Kazakhstan, he stressed that there are no obstacles for Kazakhstan and China to deepen their cooperation in politics, trade, economy and humanities.

In his meeting with Dr. Margaret Chan, director-general of the World Health Organization, Wu said China and the WHO have had very good cooperation during the past few years in such fields as epidemic control, health education, medical training, public health capacity building and developing traditional medicine.

China appreciates the WHO's guidance concerning the country's medical and health system reform and public health development, Wu said, adding that he expects to cooperate with the WHO in many expanded areas.

Chan said the WHO appreciates China's dual focus on people's health and economic development as it builds a medical and health system that covers both urban and rural residents.

She also thanked China for its active participation and support for the WHO's work, adding that her organization will firmly adhere to the one-China policy.

Wu left for Beijing on Tuesday after concluding his official goodwill visit to Switzerland and attending the Third World Conference of Speakers of Parliament in Geneva. Switzerland was the third leg of Wu's three-nation tour, which also took him to France and Serbia.



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