Inter-parliamentary contacts are of significance for promoting state-to-state relations, and China is ready to strengthen parliamentary exchanges and cooperation with its Zimbabwean counterparts.
Li Peng, chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress (NPC), made the remark in a meeting with Speaker Emmerson Mnangagwa of the Parliament of Zimbabwe here Monday.
Li cited the friendship between the two parliaments, saying that it has played a positive role in promoting the development of Sino-Zimbabwean relations.
Noting that the bilateral friendship dates back to ancient times, Li said that since the two countries forged diplomatic ties 21 years ago, bilateral relations have developed smoothly with constant high-level visits and fruitful cooperation in such fields as politics, economy, culture and education.
The two peoples are pursuing peace and endeavoring to make economic progress, Li said, adding that China will make joint efforts together with Zimbabwe for strengthening their bilateral traditional friendship and cooperation.
China appreciates Zimbabwe's "one-China" policy and support for China in international affairs, added Li.
Li also recalled his visit to Zimbabwe years ago, saying that the friendly people, beautiful scenery and rich resources of that country left him with a deep impression.
He pointed out that China, as a friend of Zimbabwe, has always been concerned about that country and is delighted to see Zimbabwe 's achievements in promoting national reconciliation and economic development.
He stressed that the government and people of every country are entitled to selecting their own development path and policy in line with their own conditions, adding that China's experience has shown that economic development is the central task after a country's independence.
China is convinced that Zimbabwe will return to a rapid development path with joint efforts from both the government and people, Li said.
Mnangagwa expressed his admiration for the great changes he has seen here since he first visited China 40 years ago.
He noted that his country treasures its friendship with China, which dates back to the period when Zimbabwe was struggling for national liberation and independence.
He went on to say that the Zimbabwean people will never forget the Chinese people's material and moral assistance, and the development of bilateral relations since the two countries set up diplomatic ties demonstrates that the bilateral friendship has a firm foundation.
In international affairs, Zimbabwe and China are striving for the establishment of a new international political and economic order, and there are broad prospects for their cooperation, said the speaker.
The Zimbabwe Parliament will strengthen its cooperation with its Chinese counterpart, so as to make further contributions to the continuous development of bilateral ties.
(Xinhua News Agency October 22,2001)