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blank.gif  06/01/1999,  updated at 16:00       



NPC Chairman Meets Colombian And Finnish Delegations

  *Li Peng, chairman of the Standing Committee of China's National People's Congress, said on January 5 that China will further strengthen mutually beneficial cooperation with Latin American countries in order to promote common development.

  He said China fully respects the development paths and modes of Latin American countries. The NPC chairman made the comments in an afternoon meeting with a delegation headed by Emilio Martinez, president of the House of Representatives of Colombia.

  Li said China attaches importance to relations with Latin American countries and noted the similar development goals and good cooperative foundation in wide-ranging fields.

  He pointed to the fact that Sino-Colombian relations have developed steadily since the two countries forged diplomatic ties, and noted increasing reciprocal high-level visits between the two sides in recent years.

  He expressed appreciation for the Colombian government's support for China's entry into the World Trade Organization (WTO) and stance on the Taiwan question.

  Li spoke highly of the role Latin American countries have played in international affairs and noted that Latin America has vast territory and abundant resources with great development potential.

  He said regional integration in Latin America has continued to expand in recent years, and noted that Latin American countries have participated in consultations and helped coordinate a number of major issues. Li said nations in Latin America have contributed positively to safeguarding world and regional peace and development.

  He expressed the hope that Colombia and all other Latin American countries will record new achievements in realizing economic prosperity, national stability and social progress.

  Li also briefed the delegation on China's development over the past two decades, as well as the people's congress system and Chinese legislation.

  Martinez outlined Colombia's extensive effort to ensure social stability and economic growth.

  He showed great appreciation for the development of bilateral relations and expressed the hope that the two nations will strengthen cooperation in the realm of science and technology, economics and trade.

  *Li Peng, chairman of the National People's Congress (NPC) Standing Committee, met on January 5 with a delegation of Finnish parliamentarians led by Deputy Speaker Kerttu Tornqvist.

  Li welcomed the delegation and noted that China and Finland have maintained a long-term friendship. He also noted that Finland was one of the first European countries to recognize and establish diplomatic relations with the People's Republic of China.

  "China and Finland are free of political conflicts and relations between the two nations have witnessed sustained development," according to Li.

  He said that European Union (EU) will continue to play an important role in multipolarization and economic globalization.

  "We are pleased with the launch of the Euro, and are firmly convinced that the new currency will play an important role in maintaining international financial stability," said Li.

  He said the fact that Finland will assume the rotating chairmanship "indicates the country's important position in the European Union."

  Li said China has always attached great importance to ties with the EU, and expressed hope for the continued development of long-term, stable, friendly and cooperative ties with all its member states.

  Tornqvist conveyed the best wishes of Riita Uosukainen. speaker of the Finnish Parliament and praised China's economic development and the Sino-Finnish relationship. She also expressed hope for the further strengthening of ties between the Finnish Parliament and the NPC.

  Tornqvist called for expanded friendly exchanges between the two legislative bodies, as well as consolidated legislative and judicial cooperation. She also briefed Li on the introductory status of the Euro.

  Li said parliamentary exchanges between the two nations can be traced to the 1950s. He noted that Chinese and Finnish leaders, including President Jiang Zemin, have completed a series of reciprocal visits since the 1980s.

  Li said Tornqvist's visit will enhance the friendship and cooperation between the two countries and their legislatures.

  

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