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Chinese, Austrian presidents hold talks on closer ties

(Xinhua)

17:41, October 31, 2011

VIENNA, Oct. 31 (Xinhua) -- Visiting Chinese President Hu Jintao met with his Austrian counterpart Heinz Fischer in Vienna Monday to discuss ways to further strengthen cooperation between their two countries.
The two leaders are also expected to exchange views on other issues of mutual interest.

Before their talks, President Hu attended a welcoming ceremony hosted by Fischer. The two leaders are expected to attend a signing ceremony for cooperation documents, and meet the press following their talks, according to the schedule.

The two sides will sign a host of cooperation documents covering areas of economy and trade, environmental protection, water conservancy, education and culture, Chinese diplomats said.

In the afternoon, President Hu will meet Chancellor Werner Faymann and National Council President Barbara Prammer on ways to strengthen bilateral ties.

The Chinese president will then travel to Salzburg Monday evening to continue his state visit to the central European country.

This year marks the 40th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties between China and Austria.

Over the past 40 years, the China-Austria relations have developed continuously with frequent exchanges of high-level visits, increases in bilateral trade, and more visitors traveling to each other's countries.

China became Austria's biggest trading partner outside Europe in 2010, and two-way trade rose to 6 billion U.S. dollars, a 26 percent increase over the previous year.

Last year, about 200,000 Chinese tourists visited Austria, while some 80,000 Austrians traveled to China.

"President Hu Jintao's visit to Austria, the first one by a Chinese head of state in the last 12 years, aims to deepen political mutual trust, summarize and plan the development of bilateral ties, expand mutually-beneficial cooperation in economy and trade, and promote people-to-people exchanges and cultural cooperation," said Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Fu Ying at a press briefing last Friday.

Hu will fly to France to attend the summit of the Group of Twenty (G20), slated for Nov. 3-4, following his Austria trip.

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