On Sept. 22, local time, at the invitation of Speaker Pavol Paska of the National Council of Slovakia, Zhang Dejiang, Chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress (NPC), paid an official goodwill visit to Slovakia from Sept. 19 to 22. He in Bratislava met with Slovak President Ivan Gashparovic, met with Prime Minister Robert Fico, held talks with Speaker Pavol Paska and met with members of Slovakia-China friendship group of the National Council of Slovakia.
When meeting with Gashparovic, Zhang Dejiang first conveyed the cordial greetings from President Xi Jinping. Gashparovic expressed gratitude for this and asked Zhang Dejiang to convey the good wishes to President Xi Jinping. Both sides agreed that since the establishment of China-Slovakia diplomatic relationship, bilateral relations have enjoyed stable development with fruitful practical cooperation. Both sides expressed that the two countries are ready to further strengthen exchanges between the governments, parliaments and political parties, to unceasingly deepen political mutual trust, to push forward practical cooperation, to enhance the friendship between the people, so as to jointly open up a new chapter in China-Slovakia friendship.
Zhang Dejiang as well exchanged in-depth views with Gashparovic on international issues of mutual interest. Zhang Dejiang expressed that China firmly pursues the independent foreign policy of peace, respects the development path independently chosen by the people of all other countries, stresses that all countries are equal members of the international community, regardless of whether they are big or small, rich or poor, strong or weak. China always advocates peaceful resolution of international conflicts, firmly opposes hegemonism and power politics, does not interfere in other countries' internal affairs. Gashparovic expressed that China is a highly respected major country in the world today. China's proposals and views have great influence. It is believed that China will contribute more to global peace and development.
When meeting with Fico, Zhang Dejiang pointed out that Slovakia has become an important economic and trade partner of China in the Central and Eastern European region. Deepening bilateral mutually beneficial cooperation is not only conducive to the economic growth of their respective countries, but also to friendly cooperation between China and Central and Eastern European Countries (CEEC) as well as all-dimensional, balanced development of China-EU relations. Hope both sides will explore way of thinking for cooperation, make good use of the major measures proposed by China to promote the friendly cooperation with CEEC, strengthen project planning and verification, fully leverage the role of businesses as market players, focus on promoting cooperation in transportation, energy and other infrastructure fields, support businesses of the two countries for expanding mutual investment, create a favourable policy and legal environment, and strive to turn political advantages of bilateral traditional friendship and potentials for economic cooperation into the results of practical cooperation.
Fico expressed congratulations for the enormous achievements in China's economic and social development. He expressed that the Slovak side is ready to work with China to strengthen exchanges and cooperation in the fields of politics, economy, trade, scien-tech, tourism, people-to-people and cultural exchanges. Chinese businesses are welcomed to expand investment in Slovakia and to join in power station, railway, road and other infrastructure construction. Slovakia is ready to provide more facilitation for this.
When holding talks with Paska, Zhang Dejiang said that China's new collective central leadership cherishes very much the China-Slovakia traditional friendship and highly values developing relations with Slovakia. Hope the legislative bodies of the two countries will further strengthen friendly exchanges, better serve the overall development of state-to-state relations. Zhang Dejiang introduced China's development path as well as the democratic political system, stressing that the path of socialism with Chinese characteristics opened up by the Chinese people after long-term exploration and practice is the only way to achieving the country's prosperity, national rejuvenation and people's happiness. The Chinese people have full confidence in the development path chosen by themselves and have full confidence in realizing the Chinese Dream of the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation.
Paska expressed that Chairman Zhang has visited Slovakia in his first overseas trip after taking office. It will strongly push for the development of bilateral friendly cooperative relations. He expects both sides will strengthen dialogue and exchanges at all levels and in various fields, strive to make the legislative bodies of the two countries be important forces for promoting the development of state-to-state relations.
When meeting with the members of the Slovakia-China friendship group, Zhang Dejiang thanked the MPs for the long-time commitment to the cause of China-Slovakia friendship. Hope they will visit China often and make new contributions to promoting the development of China-Slovakia relations.
During the visit, Zhang Dejiang as well went to Šenkvice to visit Carpathian Pearl Company, a famous wine producer in Slovakia.
Mme. Xin Shusen, wife of Zhang Dejiang, and Wang Chen, Vice Chairman and Secretary General of the National People's Congress (NPC) Standing Committee, were present at relevant activities respectively.