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Ambassador: Australia can be part of China 2.0

By Huang Beibei (People's Daily Online)

14:33, October 09, 2011


Frances Adamson, Australia’s first female ambassador to China, poses for People's Daily Online.


The 40th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties between China and Australia is right around the corner on Dec. 21, so People's Daily Online sat down with Frances Adamson, Australia’s first female ambassador to China, for an exclusive interview about what is next for the two countries.

Still taking Chinese lessons twice a week

When Adamson, who speaks fluent Mandarin, was asked why she decided to learn Chinese, she said her interest in the language started while she was working at the Australian Consulate-General in Hong Kong 26 years ago.

At that time, she came to realize that China will be an important country in the future. Although people speak Cantonese in Hong Kong, she decided to learn Mandarin to better communicate with Chinese officials and ordinary Chinese people

She noted, "There is nothing more rewarding for me than to have a conversation in China with Chinese people about how I see their lives, the world— the things that are interesting.”

She admitted it is very difficult to speak Chinese well, and that is why she is taking lessons twice a week.

Adamson said there have been amazing changes in Beijing since she first visited the city in 1997. She sees a nation of highly talented people working extremely hard to study, work, create, and to drive the nation forward.

Sees opportunities for Sino-Australian cooperation every day

Since 1972, Australia has established a very constructive and mature trading relationship with China. China is Australia's largest trading partner, and Australia is China's second largest trading partner. She mentioned that Australian exports of iron ore contributed to literally "building modern China."

She also noticed nowadays China is very concerned about food safety, and Australia is there to provide fresh, green food. Meanwhile, the Chinese people's interest in wine is growing and Australian wine exports are increasing strongly as well.

Besides, Australia provides high-quality language learning courses and university education to Chinese students. Recently, Australia announced permission for Chinese graduates of Australia universities to work there for one to three years. Ms. Adamson believes this will play an important role in building this bilateral relationship in the future.

In addition, some universities in both countries have established good working relationships with each other. This will be the focus of future work in the Australian embassy in China.

In recent years, the Chinese market for foreign vacations has grown, and Adamson said that Australia has many beautiful places to offer. She noticed more and more Chinese people are traveling there to experience the Australian firsthand rather than just watching it through the window.

Adamson thinks Australia has a lot to offer China that will complement its development and growth. Her focus is on enhancing the bilateral relationship for the future, for the benefit of Chinese and Australian people.
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