Zhang Dejiang (R), chairman of China's National People's Congress (NPC) Standing Committee, holds talks with Solvita Aboltina, chairperson of the Parliament of Latvia, in Beijing, capital of China, May 27, 2014. (Xinhua/Li Tao)
China's top legislator, Zhang Dejiang, and his Latvian counterpart, Solvita Aboltina, agreed in Beijing on Tuesday to forge stronger links between the two legislatures and their congressmen.
Zhang, chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress (NPC), hailed the progress of China-Latvia ties since the establishment of diplomatic ties over 20 years ago, citing stable political connections and fruitful cooperation in such areas as trade, culture, education and technology.
He expressed appreciation for Latvia's adherence to the one-China policy and the country's support for China on issues concerning its core interests such as Taiwan and Tibet.
Calling parliamentary exchanges an important part of China-Latvia relations, Zhang said the NPC and the Latvian Parliament have maintained friendly exchanges.
He called for priority to be given to bilateral trade, development and understanding and friendship.
He proposed stronger exchanges and dialogues between the two countries' congressmen, in order to expand consensus and upgrade their parliamentary ties.
During Chinese President Xi Jinping's trip to Europe in March, Xi proposed that China and Europe build four "bridges" of peace, growth, reform and progress in civilization to step up friendship and cooperation.
As Latvia will take over the rotating presidency of the European Union from the first half of next year, Zhang said China hopes to coordinate with Latvia within the framework of cooperation between China and Central and Eastern European countries.
Aboltina, in her turn, noted that the Latvian government and parliament firmly stick to the one-China policy.
Relations between Latvia and China are based on mutual respect and trust, she said, adding that bilateral parliamentary exchanges had played a unique role in promoting overall relations between both countries.
She vowed to facilitate closer Europe-China cooperation when her country holds the EU rotating presidency next year.
Invited by Zhang, Aboltina is visiting China from May 25-31.