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Xi Jinping meets Australian prime minister


08:54, April 08, 2013

BOAO, April 7 (Xinhua) -- Chinese President Xi Jinping met with Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard at the Boao Forum for Asia Annual Conference 2013 on Sunday.

Xi said China and Australia have agreed to foster a strategic partnership built upon mutual trust and mutual benefit.

In a move to further boost bilateral ties, the two countries have also pledged to build an annual meeting mechanism between their prime ministers.

Xi said China and Australia have seen their ties expand and deepen since the establishment of diplomatic relations 40 years ago, and the two countries can become friendly partners pursuing common development, as they share an increasing amount of shared interests and responsibilities amid constantly changing international and regional dynamics.

"I hope the two countries can enhance communications, expand cooperation, accelerate negotiations on bilateral free trade agreements, and diversify trade and investments to push bilateral ties to a new height," Xi said.

As stability and development are the top priorities for the Asia-Pacific region, China hopes related countries can cherish the current hard-won momentum and put the focus on development through mutual trust and cooperation, Xi said, adding that China and Australia should set a good example in this regard.

During the meeting, Gillard said Australia is devoted to developing a mutually beneficial partnership with China, adding that she believes the regular meeting mechanism between the two nations' prime ministers will help deepen cooperation.

Australia hopes to become a reliable resources supplier to China, while widening cooperation in areas such as agriculture and financial services, she said.

The two countries should expand bilateral investment and try to reach an agreement on free trade as soon as possible, Gillard said, adding that Australia hopes to maintain contact and coordination with China to jointly maintain regional peace, stability and development.

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