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Chinese, US parliamentary bodies set up formal exchange mechanism
( 2004-01-09 21:21) (Xinhua)

China's National People's Congress (NPC) and the Senate of the United States established a formal exchange mechanism early this month, one source with the Chinese NPC said Friday.

The NPC is the fifth partner of such exchange mechanism with the US Senate. The other four are the counterparts from Britain, Canada, Mexico and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO).

The source said that Sheng Huaren, vice-chairman and secretary- general of the NPC Standing Committee, visited Hawaii from Jan. 1 to 3 at the invitation of Ted Stevens, president pro tempore of the US Senate.

Sheng held talks with Stevens and Sen. Daniel Inouye and the two sides signed a memorandum of understanding to formally establish the mechanism, said the source.

According to the memorandum, China's NPC and the US Senate set up a inter-parliamentary group. Sheng will serve as chairman of the Chinese part and Stevens and Inouye will serve as chairman and co-chairman of the US part.

During their talks, the two sides highly valued the Sino-US relations which had maintained an improving and developing momentum.

Sheng said Chinese President Hu Jintao and US President George W. Bush had met twice last year and Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao made a successful visit to the United States last December.

Under such circumstances, Sheng said, this mechanism would surely strengthen exchanges and cooperation between the two parliamentary bodies and enhance bilateral constructive cooperation.

The US side said the mechanism was fully supported and authorized by the leaders of the two parties of the Senate, which showed the US side attached high importance to the friendly relationship between the US Senate and the Chinese NPC, according to the source.

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