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China, Russia Initiate Regular Exchange Mechanism

China and Russia on Thursday initiated an annual regular exchange mechanism between the National People's Congress (NPC), China's top legislature, and the State Duma, the lower house of the Russian parliament.

NPC Standing Committee Chairman Wu Bangguo and visiting State Duma Chairman Boris Gryzlov signed a constitution of the cooperation committee between the two sides on Thursday afternoon following their talks at the Great Hall of the People.

The committee, with Wu and Gryzlov as chairmen, will hold a meeting every year in China and Russia in turn.

During the talks, Wu spoke positively of Sino-Russian relations and pointed to the sound development of bilateral relations in recent years and remarkable cooperation results in various fields.

He listed new and substantial progress on major issues between the two countries this year including the ratification of the supplementary agreement on the eastern border. This agreement marked the smooth settlement of the judicial procedure on their border issue, the initiation of a consultation mechanism on national security, and the agreement on strengthening bilateral energy and investment cooperation.

Wu said China views Russia as an important strategic partner and gives strategic priority to the development of Sino-Russian relations and to furthering bilateral strategic and cooperative partnership, an issue of great significance to safeguarding common interests and promoting mutual development.

He said the two sides should strengthen mutual support on major issues concerning sovereignty, territorial integrity and security, and the Chinese side appreciates Russia's consistent and firm support for China on such issues as Taiwan, Tibet and human rights and, in turn, firmly supports Russia's fight against Chechen terrorist forces.

Wu also suggested that the two sides advance economic and trade cooperation with the expectation of breakthroughs in energy, electro-mechanicals trade, among other projects, expand cultural exchange, enhance coordination on international and regional issues, and strengthen their cooperation in international and regional organizations such as the United Nations.

Gryzlov, who is here on an official goodwill visit as Wu's guest, said Russia and China are friendly neighbors and the State Duma and all political parties of Russia hold the same view on furthering Russia-China relations.

He said the State Duma will continue exchanges with the NPC in various fields, including economic legislation, and will promote bilateral economic and trade cooperation so as to better serve the economic development of each country and enhance understanding and friendship between the two peoples.

He also reiterated Russia's firm adherence to the one-China policy.

(Xinhua News Agency June 17, 2005)

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