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Wu Bangguo Attends the 21st Annual Meeting of the Asia-Pacific Parliamentary Forum and Delivers a Keynote Speech

On the morning of January 28, 2013, Wu Bangguo, chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress, attended the 21st annual meeting of the Asia-Pacific Parliamentary Forum (APPF) in Vladivostok, Russia, and delivered a keynote speech titled Pursuing Peaceful Development and Promoting Win-Win Cooperation.

Wu said in his speech that it is the common responsibility of all countries in the Asia-Pacific region and also the earnest aspiration of the people to promote peace, cooperation and development in the region. APPF members should view the regional situation and relations between each other from a strategic height, firmly uphold peace and stability, vigorously deepen mutually beneficial cooperation, promote the spirit of inclusiveness and mutual learning. The members should also strengthen inter-parliamentary dialogue and exchanges at all levels and in all fields, and make inter-parliamentary exchanges a constructive force in developing state-to-state relations.

Wu expounded on China's domestic and foreign policy in three aspects-China's adoption of growth in a scientific way, China's adherence to the policy of opening-up, and China's pursuit of peaceful development. He stressed that development remains the key to solving all problems in China. China will continue to focus on development to ensure that the task of building a moderately prosperous society in all respects will be fulfilled by 2020 and Chinese people will be able to live a better and happier life by then. Wu also noted that China's development does not pose a challenge, still less a threat, to other countries or the world as a whole. China will continue to hold high the banner of peace, development, cooperation and mutual benefit, and make greater contributions to the noble cause of the peace and development of mankind.

Established in 1993, the APPF is an influential inter-parliamentary organization in the Asia-Pacific region. It aims to promote dialogue and cooperation, deepen mutual understanding among member states, and enhance wider cooperation in the entire region. As a founding member of the forum, China's National People's Congress has been vigorously participating in its various activities. It hosted the APPF's 12th annual meeting in 2004.

In the afternoon after the annual meeting, Wu met with Valentina Matviyenko, chairwoman of the Federation Council of Russia, host of this year's meeting.

In their meeting, Wu said that it is a strategic decision made by the leaders of the two countries to forge the China-Russia comprehensive strategic partnership of coordination, which, featuring equality and trust, mutual support, common prosperity and long-standing friendship, is in the fundamental interest of the two countries and in accordance with the developing trend of the times. Currently, bilateral ties are stable and mature with a high level of strategic coordination and rich connotation. The new Chinese leadership attaches great importance to China-Russia relations, has made it a priority of China's diplomacy to develop the strategic partnership with Russia, and is willing to deepen pragmatic cooperation with Russia in various fields. He added that it is his conviction that China-Russia relations will develop in the direction of strategic coordination, mutual benefit, win-win outcomes and good-neighborly friendship. As an important part of state-to-state ties, China's National People's Congress and Russia's Federation Council and State Duma have conducted ever closer and effective cooperation, which has proved a boost to the two countries' relationship. Wu expressed his hopes that the two countries should carry forward the fine tradition of cooperation, improve the mechanism of regular exchanges between the two legislative bodies, strengthen pragmatic cooperation, deepen parliamentary relations, and add new content to China-Russia ties.

For her part, Matviyenko said that the two countries' comprehensive strategic partnership of coordination, embodied in every aspect of bilateral ties, has not only facilitated their respective development but also helped safeguard international and regional peace, stability and prosperity. She added that Russia, which is vigorously developing its Far East region, welcomes China's participation. Russia is willing to create a favorable environment for investment, encouraging enterprises and local governments from both sides to deepen mutually beneficial cooperation in such fields as infrastructure construction, energy and resources, and high-tech, and enlarge mutual investment. Matviyenko also noted that both the Russian government and parliament speak highly of Wu's outstanding contribution to boosting bilateral ties, especially relations between the two legislative bodies. The Russian Federation Council is ready to further strengthen friendly cooperation with the National People's Congress of China and push for all-round development of China-Russia relations.

After their meeting, Matviyenko, on behalf of Russia's President Vladimir Putin, presented the medal "Order of Friendship" to Wu.

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