MOSCOW – China has been playing a leading role in widening inter-parliamentary exchanges and cooperation in the Asia-Pacific region, a senior Russian parliamentarian has said.

Long-term dialogue between legislative bodies of Russia and China has set an example for other countries in the Asia-Pacific rim, Ilias Umakhanov, deputy chairman of Russia’s Federation Council, or the upper house of parliament, told Xinhua in a recent interview ahead of top Chinese legislator Wu Bangguo’s trip to Russia in the next few days.

Wu, chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress (NPC), will attend the 21st Annual Meeting of the Asia-Pacific Parliamentary Forum (APPF) in Russia’s Far Eastern city of Vladivostok from January 27-January 31.

Politics and security, economy and trade, regional cooperation will be among major topics for discussion at the APPF meeting.

According to Umakhanov, inter-parliamentary cooperation between Russia’s Federation Council, the State Duma and China’s National People’s Congress has been conducted efficiently.

Umakhanov highly praised the achievements made in the inter-parliamentary exchanges and cooperation within the framework of the APPF, saying the platform helps provide peace and security, promote trade and investment, counter modern challenges, encourage cultural and educational exchanges in Asia.

It has been and will be “a key floor for interactions between legislators of the Asia-Pacific countries, despite all their differences,” he added.

The current forum will be “a milestone in enhancing the APPF as a tool to reach fruitful exchange of experience and opinions between regional legislative bodies,” he said.

As the host country, Russia expects Chinese legislators to support the final decisions of the meeting and participate in the meeting of young parliamentarians planned on the forum’s sidelines.

In general, APPF member countries should make joint efforts to build a legal environment and political climate to facilitate mutual trust and understanding, thus further enhancing integration and cooperation in the entire region, Umakhanov said.

Direct contacts between legislative bodies of Russia and China have helped people understand each other better and become an important factor of stability in the entire region, he added.

Wu visited Russia in September 2011. In September 2012, a delegation headed by chairperson of Russia’s Federation Council Valentina Matvienko visited China.

Delegations from 23 APPF members and its two observers, Afghanistan and Kazakhstan, will participate in the Vladivostok session.

Established in Tokyo in 1993, the objective of the forum is to promote greater cooperation among legislative bodies in the Asia-Pacific region.

Matvienko once said the main goal of the forum was to adopt resolutions to provide legislative support to decisions made at the Asia-Pacific Economic Forum.

Source: CHINA DAILY USA