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Australia to boost diplomat presence in China: official

(Xinhua)

10:42, October 20, 2011

CANBERRA, Oct. 20 (Xinhua) -- Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) Secretary Dennis Richardson on Thursday said Australia will boost diplomatic presence in China.

Richardson said Australia's representation to China was lagging behind when comparing to other Western nations, and the Labor government is aware of the problem.

"If you go back 15 or 20 years, we were leading the pack in terms of representation. We've now fallen off the pack," he told a Senate estimates committee in Canberra on Thursday.

"But I believe it is only a matter of time before we have further representation in China.

"I'm not suggesting that will be in the next few months or next year but I think there is an acknowledgement that we are underdone there."

Richardson added that he broadly agrees with the proposition that DFAT's overseas representation is too small, despite small boosts in recent years.

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