Tuesday, August 11, 2009

China backs world gathering of parliaments' speakers

Chinese top legislator Wu Bangguo promised on Monday the country would take an active part in preparing for a world speakers conference.

"China supports the Inter- Parliamentary Union (IPU) on holding the Third Conference of Speakers of Parliaments and will actively participate in its preparations," the senior official told visiting IPU President Theo-Ben Gurirab during an hour-long meeting in Beijing.

Wu, chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress (NPC), the top legislature, said China hoped the speakers' conference would step up the member states' communication and cooperation in the multilateral framework.

Wu Bangguo (R), chairman of the Standing Committee of China's National People's Congress, the country's top legislature, meets with Theo-Ben Gurirab, president of the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) and speaker of Namibia's National Assembly (Parliament), in Beijing, capital of China, Aug. 10, 2009. (Xinhua/Yao Dawei)

The IPU, established in 1889, is the international organization of parliaments of sovereign states. The union, with more than 150 members, serves as a focal point for worldwide parliamentary dialogue.

The first and the second speakers meetings took place in New York in 2000 and 2005.

Gurirab appreciated the NPC's long-standing and generous support to the IPU , calling for China's bigger role in the organization.

Wu reviewed China's 19-year diplomatic relations with Namibia as Gurirab also served as speaker of Namibia's National Assembly.

"China and Namibia are friends and partners," Wu said, citing cooperation in politics, economy, trade, education, public health, culture, justice, among other fields.

Wu pledged China's continued efforts to cement relations with Namibia among governments, parliaments and people.

As the global economic downturn also took its toll on African countries, Wu said China would encourage its companies to do businesses and invest in Africa.

China will urge the international community to pay more attention to concerns of African countries in tackling the economic slump, Wu said.

Gurirab said he was impressed with China's achievements in its modernization drive, which Namibians and other African people also felt proud of.

The 70-year-old speaker said his country would like to learn from China's economic progress and work more closely with China for better and faster development.

Gurirab is on a week-long China visit, which will also take him to west China's Gansu province.

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