Zhang Dejiang (L), chairman of the Standing Committee of China's National People's Congress (NPC), meets with Slovakian President Ivan Gashparovic in Bratislava, Slovakia, Sept. 20, 2013. (Xinhua/Liu Jiansheng)
BRATISLAVA, Sept. 22 (Xinhua) -- Chinese and Slovak leaders have pledged to strengthen cooperation in multiple areas to advance ties between their countries.
China and Slovakia have seen stable development in bilateral ties and fruitful results in pragmatic cooperation since they established diplomatic relations, China's top legislator Zhang Dejiang and Slovak President Ivan Gashparovic agreed during talks on Friday.
Zhang, chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress, is on an official visit to Slovakia from Sept. 19 to 22.
They expressed willingness to further enhance exchanges between the two countries' governments, parliaments and parties, deepen political mutual trust, boost pragmatic cooperation and strengthen friendship between the two peoples to open a new chapter in the Sino-Slovak relationship.
China firmly adheres to the independent foreign policy of peace, respects other countries' development paths independently chosen by their people and underscores that all countries, big or small, rich or poor, strong or weak, are equal in the international community, Zhang said.
"China always advocates resolving international disputes via peaceful means, resolutely opposes hegemonism and power politics, and maintains noninterference in other countries' domestic affairs," Zhang said when comparing notes with Gashparovic on international issues of common concern.
China is respected by the world and its opinions have great influence on the international community, Gashparovic said, adding he expected China to make greater contributions to global peace and development.
While meeting with Slovak Prime Minister Robert Fico, Zhang noted that Slovakia has become an important economic and trade partner for China in Central and Eastern Europe.
Strengthening mutually-beneficial cooperation will contribute not only to economic progress in the two countries, but also to the friendly ties between China and central and eastern European countries, Zhang said.
Zhang added that he expected the two sides to give full play to the role of enterprises as market players and advance bilateral cooperation in infrastructure construction including transportation and energy.
He urged both sides to expand mutual investment, adopt effective policies and create a favorable legal environment for their cooperation in a bid to achieve concrete results.
Fico congratulated China on its marked economic and social progress and expressed willingness to work with China to strengthen cooperation in various fields.
Chinese enterprises are welcome in Slovakia to expand investment and participate in infrastructure construction projects such as power stations,railways and highways, Fico said.
Slovakia is willing to provide more favorable conditions in these respects, he added.
During talks with Pavol Paska, speaker of Slovakia's National Council, Zhang said China attached great importance to developing relations with Slovakia and he expected closer contact between the two countries' legislative bodies to better serve the overall development of bilateral ties.
Zhang stressed that the path of socialism with Chinese characteristics is the only way for China to achieve prosperity and rejuvenation and improve the people's livelihood.
"China is confident in its path and in realizing the Chinese dream of the great rejuvenation of the nation," he said.
Slovakia is on the agenda of Zhang's first official visit since he assumed office in March, which will greatly promote the development of bilateral relations, Paska noted.
He said that he expected the two countries to strengthen dialogue and exchanges in all fields and at all levels, and make legislative bodies play a significant role in developing bilateral relations.
During his visit, Zhang also met with members of the Slovakia-China friendship group. He expressed gratitude for their commitment to Sino-Slovak friendship and called for greater efforts to advance bilateral ties.