China willing to enhance mutual trust with Australia: vice premier

15:51, October 30, 2009      

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Visiting Chinese Vice Premier Li Keqiang Friday voiced China's hope to intensify the dialogues and contacts with Australia so as to enhance mutual trust between the two countries.

The Sino-Australian relations have kept a sound momentum of an all-round development since the establishment of diplomatic ties 37 years ago, Li said here when meeting with his Australian counterpart Julia Gillard.

In recent years, there have been frequent high-level exchanges of visits and contacts, and the cooperation in the political, economic and cultural sectors have achieved positive results, he noted.

Li said that China had always been viewing and developing Sino-Australian relations with a strategic height and long-term vision, and was "ready to work with the Australian side to strengthen dialogues and contacts to enhance mutual trust."

"The two countries should handle sensitive issues properly, with respect of and care about the core interests and major concerns of each other," the vice premier said.

He noted the development on the negotiations of a China-Australia Free Trade Agreement had created favorable conditions for the companies of both countries to conduct cooperation on the basis of mutual benefits.

On the cultural and educational exchanges, Li said there were now over 130,000 Chinese students studying in Australia and China would continue to encourage Chinese students to further their education here.

He also expressed hope that both sides could strengthen their efforts to provide a safe and convenient environment for the Chinese students and safeguard their legal rights.

The Chinese vice premier also mentioned that China would provide a pair of giant pandas to Australia within the year for the purpose of research.

"China is ready to further strengthen discussions and dialogues with the Australian side on dealing with major issues such as the financial crisis and climate change," he added.

Gillard said the dialogues and exchanges between the two sides had been deepened, and economic and trade cooperation had been enhanced. The exchanges in educational and cultural sectors have also witnessed positive development.

"The Australian government has been pursuing an active foreign policy toward China, treating bilateral ties with a strategic and long-term vision and is willing to deepen the existing friendly relations of mutual benefits and cooperation," she said.

The deputy prime minister also stressed that the Australian government "respects the sovereignty and territorial integrity of China and is ready to join hands with China to broaden economic and trade cooperation, expand people-to-people exchanges and promote the understanding of the two peoples."

After the talks, Li and Gillard witnessed the signing of a number of cooperation agreements on telecommunications, forestry, cultural relics protection and education.

Li arrived here Thursday night on a three-day official visit. During his stay in Australia, he will meet with Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd and other leaders.

Apart from Sydney, Li will also visit Canberra and Brisbane and meet with the state leaders of New South Wales and Queensland.

Source: Xinhua
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