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Home >> China
UPDATED: 07:57, March 28, 2006
China to sign energy coop deal with Australia, says Chinese diplomat
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A Chinese diplomat said in Beijing Monday that China will probably sign cooperation agreements with Australia on peaceful use of nuclear energy and uranium mining during Premier Wen Jiabao's upcoming visit to Australia.

Liu Jieyi, director of the North American and Oceanian Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, said at a news briefing about Wen's visit to Australia, New Zealand, Fiji and Cambodia that the cooperation between China and Australia has seen "good" and "substantial" progress.

"The two sides had a consultation on nuclear cooperation not long ago with many positive results. China believes the cooperation is conducive to the interests of the two countries and two peoples, and the building of an eco-friendly society in China, " Liu said.

The nuclear cooperation will feature peaceful use and will be supervised by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), he said.

Liu affirmed that China is not only a big energy consumer but also a big energy producer, and energy imports only play a supplementary role in the national energy supply.

Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao will pay official visits to Australia, Fiji, New Zealand and Cambodia, and attend an economic forum between China and Pacific island countries from April 1 to 8.

Wen will also attend the opening ceremony of the first China-Pacific Island Countries Economic Development and Cooperation Forum held in Fiji.

During the forum, Liu said China will try to explore new approaches to further ties with Oceanic countries.

According to Liu, Wen will deliver a speech at the opening ceremony of the forum, illustrating China's policies toward Oceanian countries and make concrete proposals to develop relations between China and Oceanic countries.

Wen will also meet with the leaders of the Oceanic countries and sign guidelines on the economic cooperation between China and Oceania countries, Liu added.

In response to a reporter's question, Liu said that all the Oceanic countries, including those with no diplomatic relations with China, are invited to the forum, calling for the countries to establish or resume diplomatic relations with China as soon as possible.

Chinese official statistics showed that trade volume between China and the Oceanic countries reached 838 million U.S. dollars in 2005, up 58 percent over the previous year.

"China has offered some assistance and made contributions to the economic and social development of the Oceanian countries," Liu said.

During his last leg of the four-nation visit, Wen will probably sign a cooperation agreement on the second phase of the protection project of the Angkor Wat historical relics in Cambodia, said Hu Zhengyao, director of the Asian Department of Chinese Foreign Ministry.

China and Cambodia will also issue a joint agreement on bilateral relations and future cooperation in various fields during Premier Wen's visit to the country, Hu added.

Source: Xinhua

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