Zhang Dejiang (R), chairman of the Standing Committee of China's National People's Congress (NPC), meets with Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe in Beijing, capital of China, Aug. 26, 2014. (Xinhua/Yao Dawei)
BEIJING, Aug. 26 (Xinhua) -- Top Chinese legislator Zhang Dejiang on Tuesday met with visiting Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe, pledging to enhance bilateral parliamentary cooperation.
Zhang, chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress (NPC), the country's top legislature, praised the contribution 90-year-old Mugabe made to Zimbabwean independence and development.
He reviewed the growth of China-Zimbabwe relations since the two countries forged diplomatic ties in 1980, hailing the important role played by Mugabe and the older generations of Chinese leaders.
China and Zimbabwe should safeguard and develop their friendship, which is a shared treasure of the two countries, according to Zhang.
He said China would like to work with Zimbabwe to implement the consensuses reached by the leaders of the two countries, deepen mutually beneficial cooperation and work for the benefit of the two peoples.
Mugabe is mid-way through a five-day China tour that began in Beijing on Sunday. Chinese President Xi Jinping held talks with him on Monday and witnessed the signing of cooperation deals covering food, finance and tourism.
On parliamentary collaboration, Zhang said the NPC would like to work more closely with the Zimbabwean parliament to enhance political trust, share more experience on state governance, and "inject new substance into bilateral relations" by encouraging foreign investment and special business zones.
Mugabe, who is on his 13th visit to China, said Zimbabwe cherishes its long friendship with China, appreciates its support and hopes for stronger trade collaboration with China.
Earlier Tuesday, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang also met with Mugabe.
Mugabe will also visit the northwestern province of Shaanxi and southern province of Guangdong on his tour.