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Kevin Rudd welcomes new chair of Australia-China Council

(Xinhua)

10:19, September 21, 2011

CANBERRA, Sept. 21 (Xinhua) -- Australian Foreign Minister Kevin Rudd on Tuesday welcomed the appointment of The Hon. Warwick Smith AM as the new chair of the Australia-China Council.

The Australia-China Council, which was established in 1978, plays a crucial role in promoting cross-cultural understanding and fostering people-to-people relations in the fields of education, science, economics, trade, culture and the arts.

Kevin Rudd said in a media release that the Council provides funding to projects in Australia, Hong Kong, Macao and Chinese Taiwan, which increase awareness and understanding in China of Australian society and culture; and increase Australians' capacity to effectively engage with China.

Smith is currently the Chairman for Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Limited (New South Wales and Australia Capital Territory), and Chairman, Advisory Board of Australian Capital Equity.

In 2008, Smith was awarded a Member of the Order of Australia for service to the Parliament of Australia, to the telecommunications industry, to the promotion of international trade and tourism, and to philanthropy through a range of charitable and community organizations.

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