The heads of the parliaments of China and Morocco vowed in Rabat Monday to work for the further development of bilateral ties in all fields.
Wu Bangguo, chairman of the National People's Congress (NPC) Standing Committee, and Abdeloughed Radi, president of Morocco's Chamber of Representatives, both stressed the role of parliaments in advancing the all-around development of friendly Sino-Moroccan relations.
Wu arrived here Sunday on a three-day official goodwill visit, the first by an NPC head of China since the two countries established diplomatic relations 47 years ago.
"Despite the mountains and rivers that separate China and Morocco, the peoples of the two countries have a long history of exchanges and profound traditional friendship," Wu said, noting that Wang Dayuan, a famous Chinese traveler, and Ibn Battatu of Morocco, visited each other's countries as early as 600 years ago.
"Sino-Moroccan relations have all along developed soundly and stably with friendly cooperation deepening continuously in all fields, thanks to the joint efforts by the leaders and peoples of the two countries, no matter how international situation changes," Wu said.
Morocco was the second African country to establish diplomatic ties with China.
"In the political front, there have been frequent high-level exchanges amid continuously enhanced political mutual trust. In trade and economic cooperation, the volume of bilateral trade has increased incessantly, reaching US$1.16 billion last year," Wu said, noting marked results in bilateral cooperation in such traditional fields as fisheries, agriculture, health and engineering projects.
The two sides have also opened up cooperation in new areas like telecommunications, energy, textiles and personnel training, Wu added.
The two countries have understood and supported each other in human rights, the integrity of territories and sovereignty and other key issues of common concern, with sound cooperation and close coordination in international affairs, Wu said.
The top Chinese lawmaker said developing traditional friendship with African countries and reinforcing and strengthening friendly cooperative relations with African nations, Morocco included, have as always been the basic stand of China's foreign policy.
"The Chinese side stands ready to work jointly with the Moroccan side to continue advancing exchanges and cooperation at all levels and in all fields in the spirit of boosting understanding, broadening common ground and enhancing cooperation for common development, fully tapping the potentials of cooperation and incessantly enriching the contents of cooperation, so as to enable the existing friendly ties between the two countries to develop in an all-around and multi-faceted fashion for the benefit of the peoples of both countries," Wu said.
Radi, for his part, said developing friendly relations with China is the common wish of the Moroccan parliament, government and its people.
The Moroccan people cherish the Chinese people's friendship and affection, and thank China for its sincere help and support for Morocco in defending territorial integrity, developing economy, raising people's living standards and other areas, Radi said.
He reiterated that Morocco understands and sticks to the one-China policy, stressing that Taiwan is a part of China.
Wu invited Radi to visit China, and Radi thanked Wu for the invitation, saying he was looking forward to making the trip at an early date.
Both speakers highlighted the role of lawmakers in advancing bilateral ties.
Wu proposed that friendly exchanges be strengthened between the leaders, deputies and various special committees of the two parliaments; various forms of cooperation be conducted to exchange experiences in legislative work; and cooperation be strengthened in multilateral areas such as the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) to jointly confront a complex and versatile international situation, so as to push forward the in-depth development of friendly Sino-Moroccan relations in all fields.
Sheng Huaren, vice chairman and secretary-general of the NPC Standing Committee, and deputy presidents of the Moroccan Chamber of Representatives were also present at the meeting.
Wu will also meet other Moroccan leaders later Monday.
After Morocco, Wu will travel to the US to attend the Second World Conference of Presidents of Parliaments, a follow-up to the first gathering of presiding officers that was organized by the IPU in August-September 2000 on the occasion of the UN Millennium Assembly.
(Xinhua News Agency September 6, 2005)