China's top legislator, Wu Bangguo, met with his Maldivian counterpart Abdulla Shahid in Beijing Monday and called for closer relations between the two nations and the two parliaments.
Wu, chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress (NPC), China's top legislature, said the growth of bilateral relations in recent years had yielded substantial benefits for the two peoples.
Wu said China valued ties with the Maldives and was willing to maintain friendly exchanges and cooperation at all levels in an effort to expand political mutual trust and economic and trade cooperation in fields such as fisheries, tourism, and infrastructure construction.
China would encourage Chinese companies to further participate in the Maldives' national construction and more Chinese tourists to visit the country, Wu said.
Wu voiced his hope for stronger coordination between the two nations on international issues in order to build a relationship that would be a model for relations between big and small nations.
Wu suggested the two legislatures promote dialogue and exchanges of views among members on successful experiences of national construction so as to inject new vitality to the development of bilateral relations.
Shahid, speaker of the Maldivian People's Majlis, said the Maldivian people treasured the friendship of the Chinese people, and the rapid growth of the Chinese economy offered inspiration to developing countries, including the Maldives.
Shahid pledged the Maldivian parliament would continue to play a constructive role in promoting bilateral relations.
Shahid is leading a Maldivian parliamentary delegation to China at the invitation of Wu. The delegation arrived in China on Jan. 8. It is Shahid's first visit to China as the country's chief legislator.