Wu Bangguo, chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress of China, makes a speech at the opening ceremony of the fifth Asia-Europe Parliamentary Partnership Meeting (ASEP) on June 19, 2008, in Beijing. (Photo by Wang Xinqing)
Members of the Asia-Europe Parliamentary Partnership Meeting (ASEP) should advance cooperation with its unique strengths, China's top legislator Wu Bangguo said at the fifth ASEP on Thursday.
"Inter-parliamentary exchanges are an important part of state-to-state relations, and multilateral parliamentary cooperation plays a unique role in international cooperation," he said.
Wu, chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress (NPC), said parliaments enjoy extensive links and a rich pool of human resources and information.
"Such strengths should be given full play to give useful advice on deepening practical and facilitate cooperation between enterprises and between localities," he said.
He urged the parliaments of members to approve relevant multilateral agreements signed by their governments in time and supervise their implementation, step up domestic legislation and supervision, support their governments in taking effective measures to reduce trade and investment barriers, promote open trade and increase mutual investment, and push for the fulfillment of the cooperation goals set by Asia Europe Meeting (ASEM).
ASEP, initiated in 1996 and held every two years in Asia and Europe in turn, is aimed at enhancing mutual understanding between Asia and Europe through increased dialogues among parliaments.
Since its inception, ASEP membership has increased from 26 to 43. This year's meeting will focus on cooperation between Asia and Europe, and promoting common development.