U.S. Senate delegation arrives in China
GOV.cn Monday, August 7, 2006

A delegation of the U.S. Senate arrived in Beijing Monday afternoon to hold the third meeting with the National People's Congress (NPC), China's legislative body.

Information from the NPC source showed, issues of China-U.S. relations, Taiwan, China's peaceful development, bilateral trade and other regional and international issues would be on the agenda of the meeting.

The issues with the global concern such as energy, bird flu, anti-terror campaign and the Olympic Games will be also discussed by the Chinese and U.S. parliamentary members, the source added.

Chinese president Hu Jintao and Chinese top legislator Wu Bangguo will hold talks with the delegation respectively in Beijing on Friday and Saturday, covering the issues of bilateral relations and other regional and international issues of common concern, according to the NPC information.

The U.S. delegation, invited by Wu Bangguo, chairman of the NPC Standing Committee, is led by Ted Stevens, president pro tempore of the U.S. Senate, and Senator Daniel K. Inouye. Other delegation members include Senator Thad Cochran, Senator Arlen Specter, Senator Patty Murray, Senator Mark Dayton, Senator Lamar Alexander, Senator Norm Coleman, and Senator Richard Burr.

The NPC and the U.S. Senate set up a regular meeting mechanism in 2004, which made the Chinese legislative body the fifth partner of such exchange mechanism with the U.S. Senate. The other four are the counterparts from Britain, Canada, Mexico and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). Under the framework of the mechanism, the two sides have held two rounds of meetings in Beijing and Washington D.C. respectively.

The NPC statistics showed that, in the year of 2005 alone, over20 delegations with more than 100 U.S. senators and congressmen paid official visits to China.

China-U.S. parliamentary exchange is experiencing a boom in recent years, which has served as an effective approach for the two sides to establish dialogue, increase mutual understanding, expand common understanding and cement political mutual trust, said Qu Xing, vice president of China University of Foreign Affairs.

The U.S. senate and congress are playing an increasingly important role in the process of formulating the country's China policy, Qu said, noting that the promotion of bilateral parliamentary exchange has created a new area for the biggest developed country and the biggest developing country of the world to foster exchange and communication and expand mutual understanding.

"Another important fact is that the NPC members and U.S. parliamentary members are elected by the ordinary voters, which will help their work concentrate on how to serve the fundamental interests of the two peoples", the expert added. According to a NPC official who prefer to be anonymous, the third meeting especially requires the two sides to increase the number of young parliamentary members.

"By doing so, we believe the meeting mechanism and the related exchange and communication approaches will be carried out from generation to generation", the official stressed. Enditem

Editor: Ling Zhu
Source: Xinhua