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China's top legislator starts visit to Croatia

(Xinhua)

08:10, May 18, 2012

Wu Bangguo (R), chairman of the Standing Committee of China's National People's Congress (NPC), is welcomed by Speaker of the Croatian Parliament Boris Sprem upon his arrival in Zagreb, Croatia, May 17, 2012 (Xinhua/Ju Peng)

ZAGREB, May 17 (Xinhua) -- China's top legislator Wu Bangguo arrived here Thursday, kicking off an official goodwill visit to Croatia.

Wu, chairman of the Standing Committee of China's National People's Congress (NPC), is scheduled to hold separate meetings with Croatian President Ivo Josipovic, Prime Minister Zoran Milanovic and Parliament Speaker Boris Sprem during his six-day tour.

"China is willing to work with the Croatian side to further advance the comprehensive cooperative partnership between the two countries," said Wu in a written speech released upon his arrival.

Since the establishment of diplomatic ties 20 years ago, China and Croatia have witnessed smooth development of bilateral ties, and Sino-Croatian relationship had opened a new chapter after the two countries set up comprehensive cooperative partnership in 2005 and Chinese President Hu Jintao paid a visit to the country in 2009, said Wu.

Describing Croatia as a reliable friend and partner in Southeast Europe, Wu said China attaches great importance to traditional friendship between the two countries and will push forward bilateral ties in the spirit of mutual respect, equality and reciprocity.

Croatia is the second leg of Wu's four-European nation tour, which will also take him to Luxembourg and Spain. Wu had paid a three-day visit to the Netherlands before leaving for Zagreb.

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