The Vice Chairman of China's National People's Congress, Tian Jiyun , has pledged to strengthen the country's 'congress diplomacy'. 'Congress diplomacy is an important part of China's foreign diplomatic work and more effort will be made to improve relations with legislatures of other countries,' Mr Tian said. Chairmen, vice chairmen and members of special NPC committees have made more overseas visits this year. Congress delegates were sent to the United States in particular to improve understanding with US congressmen. 'We'll also try to invite more foreign legislature delegations to our country,' the China News Agency quoted Mr Tian as saying. 'By doing this, we hope that other countries can get an understanding of China while we can also have better mutual communications,' he said. 'Such work can never be replaced by government diplomacy,' Mr Tian emphasised. The 96th World Legislatures Forum will open on Monday in Beijing. Over 1,300 foreign legislators will participate including two vice presidents and a vice prime minister as well as more than 60 legislature chairmen from over 110 countries, the China News Agency said. 'Though the World Legislatures Forum is not a decision making body, its resolutions and opinions will greatly influence governments' decisions,' Mr Tian said. Earlier reports disclosed that the Chinese government had taken precautions over news coverage of the meeting, not wanting embarrassing opinions expressed by foreign legislators against China to be widely reported. Mr Tian said that steps would be taken to further improve the election system of China's legislature and that the Standing Committee of the NPC would be given greater power and responsibilities. 'Measures have already been introduced to strengthen provincial legislatures' power to check and balance the decisions made by local governments and municipal courts,' he said.