Zhang Dejiang (R), chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress (NPC), holds talks with the Speaker of the Sri Lankan parliament Karu Jayasuriya in Beijing, capital of China, Oct. 14, 2016. (Xinhua/Ju Peng)
BEIJING, Oct. 14 (Xinhua) -- Chinese top legislator Zhang Dejiang held talks with the Speaker of the Sri Lankan parliament Karu Jayasuriya on Friday, calling for enhanced parliamentary cooperation between the two countries.
Zhang, chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress (NPC), hailed the profound friendship between China and Sri Lanka, saying the Sri Lankan leaders' visits to China showed that the new government is committed to developing bilateral ties.
Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena visited China in March 2015 and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe visited China in April this year.
Speaking highly of the sound relations between the two legislative bodies, Zhang said he hopes the two sides can expand exchanges and cooperation.
He called on both sides to implement the consensus reached by the two countries' presidents, strengthen political mutual trust and support each other on issues regarding core interests and major concerns.
Both sides need to provide stable legal and policy environment to support economic cooperation and personnel exchanges and help speed up negotiation of the China-Sri Lanka free-trade agreement, Zhang said.
He also encouraged the two countries to exchange governance experience and cooperate at various levels.
Jayasuriya, who is leading a delegation to China from Oct. 10 to 15 at the invitation of Zhang, said it is the common aspiration of all parties in Sri Lanka to develop mutually beneficial cooperation with China.
He said the members of the delegation, consisting of several important leaders of major Sri Lankan political parties, are eager to understand and learn from China through the visit.
The Sri Lankan parliament is ready to further cooperation with China's NPC, he added.
China's top political advisor Yu Zhengsheng also met with Jayasuriya on Friday. He said the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference hopes to expand exchanges with Sri Lanka at various levels and share governance experience.
He called for the two countries to step up cooperation within the Belt and Road Initiative and promote bilateral ties to a new stage.
Jayasuriya said Sri Lanka treasures its traditional friendship with China and is ready to enhance cooperation with China in various areas.