Zhang Dejiang (R), chairman of the Standing Committee of China's National People's Congress, holds talks with Gerardo Amarilla, president of Chamber of Representatives of Uruguay's National Congress, at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, capital of China, Jan. 9, 2017. (Xinhua/Zhang Duo)
BEIJING, Jan. 9 (Xinhua) -- China and Uruguay pledged on Monday to boost economic and political cooperation via parliamentary exchanges.
The pledge came as top Chinese legislator Zhang Dejiang held talks with Gerardo Amarilla, president of Chamber of Representatives of Uruguay's National Congress at the Great Hall of the People in downtown Beijing.
Hailing the development of bilateral ties in the past 29 years, Zhang, chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress (NPC), said China's NPC attaches great importance to the cooperation with the South American country's National Congress.
Chinese President Xi Jinping and his Uruguayan counterpart Tabare Vazquez agreed in October last year to establish a strategic partnership based on respect, equality and mutual benefit during Vazquez's state visit to China.
Zhang said the fact that the delegation includes two presidents designate of the Chamber of Representatives shows "the high consensus and willingness among different political parties of Uruguay to develop relations with China."
He called on both sides to take the talks on Monday as a new starting point to further promote bilateral exchanges.
Zhang suggested the two treat each other sincerely and increase mutual understanding of each other's development paths, major concerns and core interests.
Both sides need to speed up the approval process of bilateral deals, support the signing of free trade agreement and create sound environment for conducting cooperation on financing and major projects, he said.
He also encouraged the two countries to promote cultural and people-to-people exchanges and sharing experiences on state governance.
For his part, Amarilla said Uruguay values the relations with China and has always adhered to the one-China policy.
Uruguay expects to become an important pivot of China's Belt and Road construction and conduct complementary cooperation, said Amarilla.
The national congress is willing to expand exchanges with China's NPC so as to enrich the content of the bilateral strategic partnership, he added.
Also on Monday, Yu Zhengsheng, top Chinese political advisor, met with Amarilla.
Yu, chairman of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), appreciated the understanding and support that Uruguay has always given to China on issues that matters China's core interests, including the Taiwan issue, and Tibet-related issues and Xinjiang-related issues.
Amarilla arrived in Beijing on Sunday to start a week-long visit at the invitation of Zhang.