China's top legislator Wu Bangguo said in Beijing Sunday that the Chinese legislature is willing to keep close contact with the French parliament to deepen understanding and open up new areas for further cooperation.
Wu, chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress, made the remark during a meeting with visiting French President Jacques Chirac in the Great Hall of the People in downtown Beijing.
China and France have continued to make major achievements in friendly cooperation in all fields over recent years as the two countries enhanced political mutual trust and witnessed great progress in the economic and trade field, he said.
The bilateral ties will be promoted by activities of the Culture Year held in the two countries, Wu added.
Wu reiterated that China's new leadership attaches great importance to developing comprehensive strategic partnership with France and is willing to make joint efforts with the French side in deepening strategic dialogue, strengthening economic and trade cooperation and expanding cultural exchange in a bid to further Sino-French ties.
Enhancing exchange and cooperation between the two legislatures is an key component of the Sino-French comprehensive strategic partnership and important channel in promoting cooperation and friendship between the two peoples, Wu acknowledged.
The National People's Congress is willing to keep close communication with the French parliament and its specific committees and friendship groups in a bid to deepen understanding and explore new fields and methods for further cooperation, he said.
"That is also conducive to consolidating and enriching the social foundation for Sino-French cooperation," Wu said.
President Chirac said he has had wide-range and in-depth talks and meetings with Chinese leaders and reached with them many important consensus that will be fully implemented in the future cooperation between the two countries.
The French president said he fully agrees to Wu's comments and suggestions concerning promoting bilateral ties and exchanges between legislatures of the two countries.
The fact that the heads of French-Chinese friendship groups in the French Senate and National Assembly come along with him on the current China visit manifested that French parliamentarians attach importance to China and have strong aspirations for further exchange between French and Chinese parliaments, Chirac said.
Chirac is in Beijing for a five-day state visit to China at the invitation of Chinese President Hu Jintao.
(Xinhua News agency October 11, 2004)