VENICE, May 25 (Xinhua) -- China's top lawmaker Wu Bangguo left here for home on Sunday afternoon after concluding his three-nation Europe tour, which helped push his country's relations and cooperation with Europe.
Wu is the first chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress (NPC), top legislature of China, who has paid an official goodwill visit to Austria in 15 years and to Italy in 12 years. The Europe tour also took Wu to Russia.
During the 11-day trip, Wu met with the heads of state and governments of the three European nations and held talks with their parliament leaders.
ENHANCING PARLIAMENTARY EXCHANGES
Wu's visit greatly advanced friendly exchanges and cooperation between China's legislature NPC and the parliaments of the three nations.
During the visit to Russia, Wu and Chairman of the Russian State Duma Boris Gryzlov jointly attended the third session of the cooperation committee between the NPC and the lower chamber of Russian parliament, or the State Duma.
Wu said in a meeting with Gryzlov that development of the mechanism of regular exchanges between the parliaments of China and Russia has proved the unique advantage of inter-parliamentary exchanges. He said such exchanges has not only helped enhance friendship and deepen political trust between the two peoples, but also added new vigor to bilateral links by advancing trade and economic cooperation.
"Today's situation of vigorous growth in China-Russia relations should be contributed to tireless pursuit of good neighborly friendship by the two peoples and the joint effort of their parliaments," Wu said.
During the visit to Italy, Wu and Italian Senate President Renato Schifani signed here an agreement on establishing a regular exchange mechanism between the NPC and the Italian Senate. The agreement is the first of its kind ever reached between the parliaments of the two countries.
In a speech to international media after signing the agreement, Wu said the agreement will help establish a mechanism of regular exchanges between the parliaments of the two countries and add new vigor to the all-round strategic partnership between China and Italy. He noted that the two parliaments have carried out good cooperation, which consists an important part of bilateral relations.
Schifani told reporters that he is glad to sign the strategic agreement between the two parliaments. He said Italy and China enjoy a sound relationship.
During the visit to Austria, Wu met with Barbara Prammer, president of the Austrian National Council, and Harald Reisenberger, president of the Federal Council of Austria.
Wu said during the meetings that parliamentary exchanges consist an important part of China-Austria relations. He said the close links between NPC and Austrian parliament has become a strong driving force for friendly relations between the countries. He hopes that the two sides should carry on this tradition of sound cooperation by pushing forward communications between political parties, local governments and peoples of the two countries. The two sides should promote practical cooperation in all fields so as to add new impetus to bilateral relations.
Wu welcomes more and more Austrian parliamentarians, especially young parliamentarians to visit China.
Reisenberger said parliament members from all parts of Austria wish to strengthen cooperation with the NPC in a bid to enhance people-to-people friendship, promote local communications and expand trade and economic cooperation.
ADVANCING BILATERAL LINKS
Wu's visit helped advanced relations between China and the three European nations.
During the visit to Russia, Wu met with Russian President Dmitri Medvedev. Wu said the strategic partnership of cooperation between China and Russia is currently showing a momentum all-round and rapid growth, as high-level contact remains frequent.
Wu said the high level of China-Russia partnership is fully reflected in such areas as frequent contact between top leaders of the two countries, the staging of "Russian Language Year" in China, the signing of an oil cooperation agreement between the two governments and the exchanges between the NPC and Russian parliament.
Medvedev said Wu's visit to Russia reflects the momentum of fast growth in bilateral links. Under the current environment of international financial crisis, coordination between the parliament of the two countries will be conducive to advancing bilateral cooperation.
In Austria, Wu met with Austrian President Heinz Fischer and Vice Chancellor and Federal Minister of Finance Josef Proll.
During the meetings, Wu emphasized that China places great importance on developing relations with Austria. He said China is ready to expand friendly contact between the governments, parliaments and political parties of the two countries on a basis of mutual respect, equality and mutual benefits.
Wu said the two countries should enhance mutual understanding and trust so as to deepen cooperation in various fields and carry out closer coordination and communication on international affairs.
Fischer appreciates the responsible stance and measure that China has taken in addressing international financial crisis. He said the financial crisis has caused great impact on every country in the world and required joint effort of all countries in addressing it.
On his tour to Italy, Wu met with Italian President Giorgio Napolitano and Premier Silvio Berlusconi.
During the meetings, Wu said the economy of China and Italy are highly complementary to each other. He said the two sides enjoy a sound foundation of cooperation and great potential of expanding trade.
Wu put forward three suggestions on expanding trade and economic cooperation between the two countries. Firstly, he said the two countries should strengthen cooperation between small- and medium-sized companies as a way to expand trade and mutual investment. He said the governments of the two countries should give a full play to their joint committees in a bid to support and facilitate cooperation between the companies.
Secondly, Wu said the two countries should explore new areas of cooperation. Noting that China is working on economic restructuring and upgrading industries, Wu said the two sides share broad prospect in the development and utilization of new energy.
Thirdly, Wu said the two sides should cooperate closely on staging the World Expo. Shanghai and Milan will respectively host the World Expo in 2010 and 2015. Wu expressed the belief that cooperation on this issue will become a new bright spot of China-Italy cooperation.
PUSHING FORWARD PRACTICAL COOPERATION
Wu's visit also helped strengthen practical cooperation in all fields between China and the three nations.
During his visit to Italy, Wu met with Chinese entrepreneurs doing business in Europe. Wu said overseas Chinese companies should explore new ways to help China restructure its economy and upgrade its industries.
Wu, as China's top legislator, made the remarks as he met here with Chinese entrepreneurs who invest and do business in Italy and Europe.
Wu encourages the Chinese companies to expand their overseas market and explore new areas and channels of cooperation in other countries so as to make new contributions to China's cooperation with Italy and Europe.
Against the background of international financial crisis, Chinese companies should enhance research and development capabilities and establish overseas marketing network through cooperation with foreign companies, Wu said.
He hopes that Chinese companies should seized the opportunity of reshuffle of global industry to upgrade management and technology. He said Chinese companies should attach importance to fostering management talents with international experience.
During the visit, Wu demonstrated great interest in upgrading high-tech cooperation between China and the European countries. He visited Vienna High-tech Zone on Saturday, inspecting an energy saving office building and a wind tunnel, which is believed to be the world's largest for testing locomotives and automobiles. The wind tunnel has undertaken tests and data gathering for locomotives used in city subway system in Shanghai.
Wu also visited in Rome a research and development center under the Italian National Agency for New Technology, Energy and the Environment (ENEA) He inspected the high-temperature sole heat system for generating electricity at the R&D center.
Wu said it is a global trend in the energy sector to develop new energy and renewable energy in a broad prospect of growth. He said the Chinese government places great importance on and actively promotes development and application of all kinds of renewable energy, including solar energy. He expressed the wish that research institutes and companies of the two countries should increase cooperation and investment in this respect so as to jointly exploit the renewable energy market.
During the visit, both Wu and leaders of the three nations agreed that under the circumstances of international financial crisis, strengthening practical cooperation will not only help the countries to overcome current difficulties, but also help promote the recovery of world economy.