BEIJING, June 17 (Xinhua) -- China's top legislator Wu Bangguo pledged Wednesday to increase exchanges and cooperation with parliaments from Pacific island nations.
"The parliamentary exchanges would help deepen mutual understanding and friendship between our peoples and promote the comprehensive growth of country-to-country relations," Wu, chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress, China's top legislature, told parliamentary delegations from Pacific island nations.
China and Pacific island countries enjoyed broad common interests in promoting economic growth and safeguarding regional stability, Wu said, noting that his country valued ties with Pacific island nations and always treated them as good friends and partners.
China always maintained that all countries, whether large or small, strong or weak, rich or poor, were all equal members of the international community, and should respect each other, Wu noted.
"We actively support Pacific island nations' efforts in safeguarding national sovereignty and independence, promoting economic and social development, improving living standards and equally participating in international affairs," Wu said.
This was the first joint visit for the parliaments of Pacific island countries, involving delegations from Tonga, Micronesia, Fiji and Niue.
The delegations were led by Tu'ilakepa, speaker of the Parliament of the Kingdom of Tonga; Paliknoa Welly, chairman of the External Affairs Committee of the Federated States of Micronesia; Manu Korovulavula, chairman of the Public Accounts Committee in Fiji; and Billy Talagi, chairman of the Bills Committee of the Parliament of Niue.
All the delegation heads agreed with Wu's suggestions on furthering relations between Pacific island countries and China, saying that their countries regarded China as a sincere friend.
Applauding China's help to Pacific island nations, the parliamentary leaders said their nations were ready to work with China to increase economic and trade cooperation, enhance coordination in international and regional affairs and expand parliamentary exchanges.
All the parliamentary leaders reiterated their countries' adherence to the one-China policy.
The four delegations came to China for an official goodwill visit from June 14 to 21 at Wu's invitation.