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Chinese top legislator meets Canadian PM

China's top legislator Wu Bangguo met here Friday with visiting Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper, and both expressed the hope to further promote bilateral ties.

Wu, chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress (NPC), said China and Canada are both important countries in the Asia-Pacific region, and enjoy a wide range of common interests. The development of Sino-Canadian relations is not only conducive to both countries but also conducive to regional and world peace, stability and development.

The Chinese side attaches great importance to Sino-Canadian relations, he said, adding that next year is the 40th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries, China is willing to take this opportunity to make joint efforts with Canada to promote the relations to a new higher level.

Wu said the Chinese people cherish friendly feelings for the people of Canada, so the two sides should jointly safeguard and consolidate this basis of bilateral relations.

The two sides should also respect each other's core interests and major concerns, respect each other's sovereignty, territorial integrity and choice of development, Wu said.

He introduced China's NPC system and the achievements the country has made in enhancing democracy and legal system, saying the NPC is willing to strengthen cooperation with the Canadian parliament to promote the development of Sino-Canadian relations.

Harper described his China visit as "fruitful", and he had a better understanding of China through this visit. He said he also reached important consensus with Chinese leaders on bilateral friendship and cooperation, and the two sides issued a positive and forward-looking joint statement.

He said the Canadian side attaches great importance to its relations with China, and is willing to enhance mutual trust, expand consensus, deepen cooperation and push forward the Canada-China relations.

Harper arrived in Beijing Wednesday afternoon for a five-day official visit to China.

The tour marked Harper's first China visit since he came to office in 2006. On Thursday, Chinese President Hu Jintao and Premier Wen Jiabao met him respectively.

Besides Beijing, Harper will also visit Shanghai and Hong Kong.

According to Chinese Foreign Ministry, Harper was accompanied by his wife Laureen Harper, and his 40-strong member entourage included Canada's International Trade Minister Stockwell Day and Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz.

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