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Top Legislator Delivers Speech at Brazilian Parliament
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Top legislator Wu Bangguo delivered a keynote speech in Brasilia on Thursday at the Brazilian parliament, expounding on the economic relations and the strategic partnership between the two countries, as well as the Taiwan issue.


Economic relations


China and Brazil, whose economies are highly complementary, enjoy a sound foundation and huge potentials for further development of economic cooperation, Wu, chairman of the Standing Committee of China's National People's Congress, said in his speech.


He said Brazil was China's leading trading partner in Latin America, and that China was Brazil's biggest trading partner in Asia.


Statistics showed that bilateral trade reached a historic high of US$14.817 billion in 2005. In the first half of 2006, bilateral trade rocketed to US$9.22 billion, 51.2 percent up over the same period last year.


By the end of 2005, 89 Chinese companies had invested in Brazil, with a total contracted investment of US$199 million, according to Wu.


He added that Chinese enterprises had taken part in 50 large projects in Brazil, including land harnessing and port dredging. Brazilian companies also have been involved in large Chinese projects such as the construction of the Three Gorges Dam in central China's Hubei Province.


Another encouraging sign in China-Brazil trade ties is that the structure of the bilateral trade is witnessing substantial changes, said Wu.


High-tech and value-added products from Brazil are warmly welcome in China, as China-made electronic and communication products enjoy a good reputation in Brazil, he said.


The two countries have jointly developed and produced Chinese-Brazilian Terrestrial Resources Satellites, which has been widely viewed as a role model for south-south cooperation, said Wu.


Brazil's recognition of China's full market economy status in 2004 further broadened the horizon for the countries' trade cooperation, Wu said.


He voiced confidence that with concerted efforts from both sides, China and Brazil would meet their goal of bringing bilateral trade to US$20 billion in 2007.


China and Brazil are also close friends in the fields of culture, education and science, with bilateral exchanges and cooperation in these sectors steadily growing in the past years, according to Wu.


In 2001, China organized art festivals in Brazil, and in 2004, Brazil staged a series of events aimed at introducing the country to the Chinese people.


The increasingly close personnel exchanges and cultural communication between China and Brazil will greatly deepen understanding and friendship between the two peoples, Wu said.


Strategic partnership


In his speech, Wu also called China and Brazil strategic partners with mutual confidence, saying that after going through 32 years of smooth development, bilateral ties are now at their best.


China and Brazil, although far apart, began their friendly exchanges in early 1800s. Since the establishment of diplomatic ties 32 years ago, bilateral ties have witnessed smooth development.


As strategic partners with mutual confidence, the two countries share identical views on various international and regional issues, and are in constant consultation and coordination on international and regional affairs.


In recent years, both countries have witnessed frequent high-level exchanges of visits, and their political mutual trust has been strengthened, he said.


Wu went on to recall the exchange of some important visits between the two countries, such as the one made by former Chinese President Jiang Zemin to Brazil in 1993 when China and Brazil decided to establish a strategic partnership, and Jiang's 2001 working visit which further promoted the development of the partnership.


Then in 2004, Chinese President Hu Jintao and his Brazilian counterpart Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva exchanged visits and jointly defined four principles for guiding the development of bilateral ties.


During that visit, both heads of state also decided to establish a high-level China-Brazil committee of coordination and cooperation, which had a significant and far-reaching impact on promoting the development of bilateral ties, said Wu.


The Memorandum of Understanding on setting up a regular exchange mechanism between China's NPC and Brazil's Chamber of Deputies, signed on Wednesday, demonstrated that the relations between two countries' parliaments had entered a new phase of substantial cooperation.


Taiwan issue


Wu also said that the Chinese government had been making unremitting efforts in promoting the development of relations across the Taiwan Straits and their peaceful reunification under the guidance of the policy of "Peaceful reunification" and "One Country, Two Systems," and would continue to adhere to that policy in resolving the Taiwan issue.


He said that the Chinese government's significant endeavors in line with that policy had broken the long-time isolation state between the Mainland and Taiwan at the end of 1987, and since then had boosted the peaceful and steady development of cross-Straits relations.


Wu noted that the Chinese government had never thought that peaceful reunification involved one side knocking over the other. It meant the achievement of reunification through equal consultation.


Through consultation, the Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Straits, from the Mainland, and the Straits Exchange Foundation from Taiwan, in November 1992 reached the 1992 Consensus which reflected the one-China policy.


In April 1993, the two organizations held the successful Wan-Koo Talks, a key and historical step in the development of relations across the Straits. In 2005, the Chinese government invited party leaders from Taiwan to visit the Chinese mainland. The two sides exchanged views on a wide range of issues concerning how to improve their relations and they reached consensus on many of them.


Wu expressed his heartfelt thanks toward Latin American countries for their persistent support of China's national reunification aspirations and hoped they could continue to support the Chinese people's efforts to oppose and contain the separatist activities of "Taiwan Independence" groups in a bid to realize China's reunification.


Wu arrived in the Brazilian capital on Tuesday for a four-day official visit. Brazil is the first leg of his three-nation Latin American tour, which will also take him to Uruguay and Chile.


(Xinhua News Agency September 1, 2006)

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