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Australian PM rejects Olympics boycott, calls for sincere friendship with China
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20:23, April 09, 2008

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Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd said here Wednesday he opposed a boycott of the Beijing Olympic Games and suggested building "continuing, profound and sincere friendship" with China.

In his speech delivered in fluent Chinese at the Peking University, Rudd said he disagreed with those who had called for a boycott of the Beijing Olympics, saying the event was "important for China's continuing engagement with the world".

Rudd said Australia wanted to be a true friend with China, "a partner who sees beyond immediate benefit to the broader and firm basis for continuing, profound and sincere friendship".

It was a friendship that offered "unflinching advice and counsels restraint" to engage in principled dialogue about matters of contention, he said.

Rudd also praised China's economic and social achievement over the past 30 years since the reform and opening up.

"The scale and pace of China's economic development and social transformation is unprecedented in human history" and had a great impact not just on China, but also on the world, said the prime minister.

Rudd highlighted China's development approach of a "harmonious world" and stressed the idea depended on China being a participant in the world order and, along with others, acting in accordance with the rules of that order.

He expressed his hope that China would fully participate in all the institutions of the global rules-based order, including in security, economy, human rights and environment and make active contributions as a responsible global stakeholder.

Rudd stressed in his speech the importance of dealing with climate change, saying China played an increasingly prominent role in this problem.

He also appealed to all nations to work together to overcome environmental challenges.

Australia, like most countries, recognized China's sovereignty over Tibet, Rudd said.

Rudd arrived in Beijing early on Wednesday, kicking off his four-day official visit to China at the invitation of Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao.

Source: Xinhua



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