Zhang Dejiang (R), chairman of the National People's Congress (NPC) Standing Committee, shakes hands with President of the French National Assembly Claude Bartolone in Beijing, capital of China, Jan. 23, 2014. (Xinhua/Liu Weibing)
BEIJING, Jan. 23 (Xinhua) -- Chinese and French parliamentary leaders held talks on Thursday and vowed to enhance exchanges between the two legislatures.
"China's National People's Congress (NPC) will prioritize enhancing its friendly engagement and cooperation with France's National Assembly," said Zhang Dejiang, chairman of the Standing Committee of the NPC, China's top legislature.
Zhang made the remarks in hour-long talks with Speaker of the French National Assembly Claude Bartolone, on the eve of the 50th anniversary of the establishment of China-France diplomatic ties.
He called on the two sides to strengthen exchanges and learn from each other, especially on experience of rule by law.
The two sides should improve laws concerning bilateral cooperation so as to safeguard the legitimate rights and interests of each other's companies and citizens and to provide forceful legal support for the two countries' reciprocal cooperation, according to Zhang.
He also called on the two sides to give full play to their regular exchange mechanism and carry out more exchanges at various levels, including between young parliament members.
Bartolone echoed Zhang in saying the National Assembly will further strengthen exchanges with the NPC between their leaders, special committees and parliament members, to help develop France-China relations.
With regard to the bilateral relationship, Zhang hailed its development during the past 50 years, saying the anniversary is an opportunity that should be grasped by the two countries to push forward the ties to achieve greater progress.
Describing France as a core member of the European Union, Zhang also urged the nation to work with China to jointly promote the development of the China-Europe comprehensive and strategic partnership.
Bartolone said the two countries' historic decision to establish diplomatic relations was of great and profound importance. A grand celebration of the 50th anniversary should inherit historic tradition and promote the bilateral ties to score further development.
China and France established their diplomatic ties on Jan. 27 1964, making France the first major Western power to recognize the People's Republic of China.
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