Australia, China negotiate on nuclear cooperation

The Australian government announced Tuesday in Canberra to start negotiations with China on a bilateral nuclear cooperation agreement.

"I am pleased to announce Australia will formally commence negotiations on a nuclear cooperation agreement with China," Foreign Minister Alexander Downer said in a statement.

"The agreement will establish safeguards arrangements to ensure Australian uranium supplied to China is used exclusively for peaceful purposes," he said.

Australian and Chinese officials have already held exploratory talks on the proposed agreement, according to Downer.

Australia has an estimated 40 percent of the world's low-cost uranium resources, while China has great energy needs in context of rapid economic development.

"Opening up this export opportunity with China is consistent with the growing trade and economic relationship between our two countries, and Australia's position as a secure supplier of energy resources," he said.

Australia has 19 nuclear agreements covering 36 countries.

Source: Xinhua

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