Sat, May 19, 2012
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China, Croatia pledge closer parliamentary exchanges

2012-05-19 09:33:43 GMT2012-05-19 17:33:43(Beijing Time)  Xinhua English

Boris Sprem (R), Speaker of the Croatian Parliament, meets with Wu Bangguo, chairman of the Standing Committee of China's National People's Congress in Zagreb, Croatia, May 18, 2012. (Xinhua/Liu Jiansheng)

Boris Sprem (2nd R), Speaker of the Croatian Parliament, meets with Wu Bangguo (3rd L), chairman of the Standing Committee of China's National People's Congress in Zagreb, Croatia, May 18, 2012. (Xinhua/Ju Peng)

ZAGREB, May 18 (Xinhua) -- China and Croatia on Friday pledged to boost their parliamentary exchanges in a bid to promote bilateral ties.

The pledge was made during talks between visiting China's top legislator Wu Bangguo and Croatian Parliament Speaker Boris Sprem in Zagreb.

Wu, chairman of the Standing Committee of China's National People's Congress (NPC), arrived in Zagreb on Thursday, starting his six-day official goodwill visit to Croatia.

This is the first visit by a Chinese NPC Standing Committee chairman to Croatia within 12 years.

Wu suggested the two countries keep high-level visits and expand friendly exchanges between their parliaments to enhance mutual understanding.

The two sides should learn from each other on how to govern the state, develop the economy, raise people's living standards and improve democracy and the legal system, he said.

In addition, Wu suggested the two legislative bodies play their due roles in enhancing pragmatic cooperation between the two countries in areas such as trade, investment and culture.

Croatia is China's largest trading partner in southeast Europe, and bilateral trade hit 1.6 billion U.S. dollars in 2011, up by 16.2 percent over the previous year.

"China has always regarded Croatia as a reliable friend and partner in southeast Europe, and is willing to work with the Croatian side to promote the development of bilateral ties in a better and more efficient manner," said Wu.

Sprem, for his part, spoke highly of the Croatia-China relationship, saying that the Croatian government, parliament and parties share consensus on developing sound relations with China.

Sprem also reiterated Croatia's firm adherence to the one-China policy.

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