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Strong relationship with China brings prosperity: Australian State Premier

By Du Mingming (People's Daily Online)    10:32, April 27, 2019

 

Beijing, April 26 (People's Daily Online) -- Australian State Premier of Victoria Daniel Andrews praised the progress of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) and stressed the importance of a mutual relationship, saying “a strong relationship with China is about prosperity, jobs, economic opportunities and more.”

Andrews made the remarks in an exclusive interview with People’s Daily Online at the Second Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation (BRF), currently ongoing in Beijing. The three-day forum gathers some 5,000 participants from more than 150 countries and 90 international organizations.

On Chinese President Xi Jinping’s keynote speech at this year’s BRF, Andrews noted he was particularly impressed at the reference to quality and significance of further reform in regards to China’s economy, foreign investment, trade and tariff barriers, and the further expansion of special free trade zones.

“From the Victoria point of view, [we will] have more products coming into China, more capital coming into China, as well as partnerships, not just trade but better trust and friendship as well,” he explained.

(Photo: Wang Tianle/People's Daily Online)

Andrews was elected the State Premier of Victoria in 2014, only one year after the BRI was first proposed. In his opinion, over the last five years the partnership between China and Victoria has become stronger and broader.

During the interview, Andrews pointed out that in the past few years, since the two parties created a plan for better connection and partnership, “we have seen the total amount of direct foreign investment that comes to our part of Australia go from around 7 or 8 percent to over 25 percent, and the total export volume grow from about 6 billion dollars to more than 10 billion dollars."

According to Xinhua, since President Xi proposed the BRI in 2013, 126 countries and 29 international organizations have signed BRI cooperation documents with China.

Last year, Victoria signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with China on the Belt and Road Initiative, becoming the first among all Australian states to do so.

A real partnership is built on trust, Andrews said, explaining that Victoria is honored to be involved in the BRI and is always looking forward to further opportunities.

He noted that Chinese experience and the Chinese community in Victoria have made a profound contribution to modern Victoria. “Everyone is very hopeful and broadly optimistic about what the future holds.”

When Andrews was re-elected on November 24, 2018, he promised the biggest road and rail infrastructure agenda in the state’s history, worth 100 billion dollars. The whole project is linked to the BRI, he said, expressing high hopes for China, “China’s involvement in getting the construction completed, both investment and capital, is very important to us. We welcome that.”

In addition to trade and infrastructure, cultural partnership also plays an important role. The number of tourists from China and Victoria has increased year by year. The two sides conduct cultural exchanges through galleries, ballet, symphony orchestra and more. “What builds the strong partnership is more than just one deal or product, it has resilience and strength to it that can get stronger and even more prosperous.”

Andrews concluded that any valuable and meaningful partnership requires the efforts of both parties, as well as consistency and investment in people-to-people relationships. Such effort underpins mutual benefit and understanding that further strengthen the partnership.

This year celebrates the 40th anniversary of the sister-state relationship between Victoria and east China’s Jiangsu Province. Andrews’ schedule includes getting more partners and bringing further investment back to Victoria. 

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)
(Web editor: Bianji, Du Mingming)

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