|Chinese president meets Bulgarian counterpart on sidelines of Beijing Games|
BEIJING, Aug. 19 (Xinhua) -- Chinese President Hu Jintao met here on Tuesday with his Bulgarian counterpart Georgi Parvanov to exchange views on the ongoing Beijing Olympics and bilateral relations.
Hu extended a welcome to Parvanov, who arrived here on Saturday to attend Games-related activities, and thanked Bulgaria's support for the Beijing Games.
Worldwide athletes, including the Bulgarians, have demonstrated superb athletic skills in the Beijing Olympic competitions, Hu said. "With the concerted efforts from the International Olympic Committee and the Olympic Family, we believe the Beijing Games will be a distinctive and high-level sports rally."
Parvanov said China has deeply impressed the world by hosting the Games in line with the Olympic spirit, and wished the Beijing Games a success.
For many years, China and Bulgaria have been actively promoting bilateral relations under the principle of mutual respect, equality and non-interference in each other's internal affairs, said Hu.
In the recent years in particular, the two sides have maintained high-level contacts, achieved fruitful results in bilateral cooperation in diverse fields and maintained close coordination and cooperation in international and regional affairs, Hu said.
"China values the development of relations with Bulgaria," he said. "Next year, we will celebrate 60 years of our diplomatic relations. This will be a milestone in the development of bilateral ties."
China is ready to take this opportunity to work with the Bulgarian side to deepen concrete cooperation in diverse fields, Hu added.
Parvanov spoke highly of the bilateral relations and all-round cooperation with China.
The Bulgarian people are full of friendship and affection toward the Chinese, he said, adding that his country hopes to maintain high-level contacts with China, cement trade and economic relations, expand investment and cooperation, promote cultural exchanges and enhance coordination and mutual support in international and regional affairs.
The two presidents also exchanged views on China-Europe relations, and agreed they would make concerted efforts to promote such relations.
Hu thanked the Bulgarian government for inviting students from China's quake-battered regions to a rehabilitation tour in Bulgaria. In response, Parvanov repeated his sympathy and forwarded his best regards to the people who were affected by the May 12 earthquake.
Nearly 70,000 people died in the quake and an additional 17,923 are listed as missing.
At the invitation of the Bulgarian government, 43 students from the southwestern Chongqing Municipality, aged from 9 to 16, are on a 20-day recuperation tour in Bulgaria.
They were chosen for their bravery in the aftermath of the 8.0-magnitude earthquake that devastated Sichuan Province and neighboring areas.