Former speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives Dennis Hastert on Wednesday ended his five-day China tour, calling for further inter-parliamentary exchanges between the United States and China.
Systematic exchanges and dialogues between the United States Congress and China's National People's Congress (NPC) had allowed representatives from the two countries to build friendship and trust, said Hastert during a meeting with Sheng Huaren, vice chairman of the NPC Standing Committee.
Despite different views on U.S. policy, most U.S. representatives supported the development of U.S.-China relations and wanted to enhance energy and trade cooperation with China, Hastert said.
The U.S.-China relationship was one of the most important
international relationships and the U.S. government emphasized development of bilateral ties, Hastert told Sheng.
Echoing Hastert's remarks, Sheng cited parliamentary exchanges as a crucial part of the China-U.S. relations.
In 1999, Hastert helped form the U.S.-China Inter-parliamentary Exchange Group, one of only four official inter-parliamentary exchange groups with other countries.
As a reciprocal gesture, the NPC set up the Sino-U.S. Inter-parliamentary Exchange Group in December 1999.
"The China-U.S.inter-parliamentary exchange mechanism has served as a key platform for the NPC and the U.S. Congress to deepen mutual trust,expand common ground and cooperation," Sheng said.
Sheng also briefed Hastert on the latest situation across the Taiwan Strait, expressing appreciation for the adherence of the U.S. administration to the one-China policy, observance to the three Sino-U.S. joint communiques, and its opposition to "Taiwan Independence".
"We hope the U.S. government could express opposition more clearly, publicly and constantly to the 'de jure independence' attempt by the Taiwan authorities and their attempt to seek membership in the United Nations in any form, including its so-called referendum on UN membership," Sheng said.
China hoped that the U.S. Congress would do more to help improve the relations across the Taiwan Strait and China's peaceful reunification, without sending wrong signals to the "Taiwan Independence" separatists, said Sheng.
Hastert said the U.S. government and Congress would adhere to the one-China policy and oppose any unilateral actions aimed at changing the status quo across the Taiwan Strait.
Links between the peoples across the Taiwan Strait were increasingly close, and it was hard to imagine that anyone could separate the two sides, Hastert said.
Hastert expressed appreciation for China's important role in resolving regional issues, emphasizing cooperation on safeguarding regional and global security in order to deal with non-proliferation and energy security problems.
During his five-day stay in China, Hastert also met with Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi, executive vice president of the Organizing Committee for the Beijing Olympic Games Liu Jingmin and vice director of the Office of the National Energy Leading Group Xu Dingming.
The two sides also exchanged views on energy, environmental protection, climate change and the Beijing Olympics, vowing to cooperate and seek solutions to pollution and global climate change.
Hastert and his delegation, invited by NPC Standing Committee, visited Shanghai before they arrived in Beijing.