Xi stresses mutual understanding

By Xu Wei, Mo Jingxi and Cao Desheng (Chinadaily.com.cn) 08:17, November 07, 2023

President Xi Jinping and Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese shake hands on Monday at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing. FENG YONGBIN/ CHINA DAILY

Ties: President says small circles can't solve global issues

President Xi Jinping stressed on Monday the need for China and Australia to build up mutual understanding and trust through peaceful coexistence and achieve common development through win-win cooperation, during a meeting in Beijing with Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese.

Xi told Albanese, who is marking the first visit to China by an Australian prime minister since 2016, that the two nations should fully tap into the potential of the China-Australia Free Trade Agreement, expand cooperation in areas such as climate change and the green economy, and uphold the global and regional free trade system.

The president noted that the visit by Albanese can be seen as a continuation of past interactions between both sides and a new beginning, as this year marks the 50th anniversary of Gough Whitlam's visit to China — the first visit to China by an Australian prime minister.

The two nations have resumed exchanges in various sectors and embarked on the correct path of improving and developing their relationship, Xi said.

Relations between China and Australia had stumbled in recent years amid trade issues and other challenges.

Trade between the two nations dropped 3.9 percent year-on-year to $220.9 billion last year, even though China remained Australia's largest trading partner and the biggest market for Australian exports.

Xi said that China and Australia, both countries in the Asia-Pacific and members of the G20, share no historical grievances or fundamental conflicts of interest, adding that the two sides can become partners who trust each other and facilitate each other's development.

It is also important to grasp the right direction of China-Australia relations amid the profound changes in the global situation, Xi told his guest.

The Chinese president pointed out that if a nation only prioritizes its national interests, the world seems small and crowded, and full of risks and competition.

However, if viewed from the perspective of a shared future, the world is vast and abundant, and full of opportunities and cooperation. In the tumultuous waves of global crises, the countries in the world are not each riding in more than 190 small boats but on a shared big vessel, he added.

Xi called on the two nations to follow the trends of the times, building a relationship based on equality, seeking common ground while reserving differences, pursuing mutual benefit, and continuing to advance the bilateral comprehensive strategic partnership.

Faced with a complex external environment, the Chinese economy has withstood the pressure, stabilized its scale and improved its quality, he said, adding that China's development is still built on a solid foundation and many favorable conditions.

China's stable development brings much-needed certainty to the world economy. China's development cannot be separated from the world, and the world's development also needs China, he added.

Xi pointed out that actions seeking to build "small yards and high fences", decoupling or de-risking are in essence all forms of protectionism that go against the laws of the market, technological development and the trends of development in human society.

He made an appeal for both nations to provide a favorable business environment for the investment and operation of enterprises in both countries.

The two governments should support exchanges between legislative bodies, political parties, think tanks and youth, and at subnational levels, facilitate easier exchanges of personnel, and enhance mutual understanding and friendship between the two peoples, Xi said.

China does not form exclusive small circles, or engage in group politics or bloc confrontation in the Asia-Pacific region, the president said, adding that small circles cannot solve the major challenges facing the world.

Both nations should be vigilant against and oppose any attempts to disrupt the Asia-Pacific region, he said.

He also expressed readiness to carry out more trilateral and multilateral cooperation with Australia and support South Pacific countries in enhancing their development resilience and addressing challenges such as climate change.

Albanese, who is making his seventh visit to China and his first as prime minister, said both sides should respect each other, seek mutual benefit, maintain communication and exchanges, enhance understanding and cooperation, and achieve mutual benefit and win-win results.

He said it is natural for Australia and China to have differences, but the two sides should not let the differences define their relationship.

The two nations, with their broad shared interests, should see dialogue and cooperation as their right choices, he said.

Canberra is willing to actively promote the stable development of bilateral relations with Beijing, enhance economic and trade exchanges, and strengthen cooperation in areas such as clean energy and climate change, to bring more benefits to the peoples of both countries, he added.

On Monday, the president also held separate meetings with leaders from Cuba, Serbia and South Africa at the Great Hall of the People.



President Xi Jinping greets Cuban Prime Minister Manuel Marrero Cruz on Monday at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing. FENG YONGBIN/CHINA DAILY

When meeting with Cuban Prime Minister Manuel Marrero Cruz, Xi said China welcomes Cuba to participate in high-quality Belt and Road cooperation by tapping potential in fields such as agriculture, tourism, healthcare and science and technology for the pursuit of concrete and solid progress in bilateral cooperation.

Xi hailed the unbreakable bonds fostered between the two countries under the guidance of the older generations of leaders.

Noting that China views and develops the special friendly ties between the two countries and their ruling parties from a strategic and holistic perspective, Xi said China is willing to deepen political mutual trust and strategic collaboration with Cuba and exchange experience on governance.

China will continue to firmly support the Cuban people's efforts to oppose external interference and the blockade and defend its sovereignty and national dignity, he added.

Xi also expressed the hope that Cuba will make good use of the ongoing China International Import Expo and promote the entry of more of its specialty products to the Chinese market.

Marrero, who attended the opening ceremony of the sixth CIIE in Shanghai on Sunday, said that, through his trip to China, he has gained a better understanding of the country's remarkable achievements and the core leading role played by the Communist Party of China.

Cuba will work with China to deepen practical cooperation, maintain close collaboration in global and regional affairs, oppose hegemony and bullying, and safeguard international fairness and justice, he said.



President Xi Jinping meets with Serbian Prime Minister Ana Brnabic on Monday. DING HAITAO/XINHUA

During his meeting with Serbian Prime Minister Ana Brnabic, Xi pointed out that China and Serbia are ironclad friends who have stood together through thick and thin. Under the new circumstances, China is willing to work with Serbia to promote the high-quality development of bilateral ties and better benefit the two peoples, he said.

Xi emphasized the need for both countries to make concerted efforts to build and operate major cooperation projects, and promote the early entry into force of the China-Serbia Free Trade Agreement.

China supports Serbia in pursuing an independent development path, and is willing to enhance multilateral coordination and cooperation with Serbia to jointly uphold international fairness and justice, he added.

Brnabic hailed the development of bilateral ties, saying that China has become Serbia's largest investment partner, and cooperation projects such as the Smederevo Steel Plant have transformed Serbia's national development.

The free trade agreement reached between the two countries within six months fully demonstrates their firm determination to further deepen their relationship, she said.

Noting that China has always supported Serbia in safeguarding national sovereignty and dignity, Brnabic said Serbia firmly adheres to the one-China policy and wants to work with China to promote the joint construction of the Belt and Road.


South Africa

President Xi Jinping meets with South African Deputy President Paul Mashatile on Monday. DING HAITAO/XINHUA

When meeting with South African Deputy President Paul Mashatile, Xi said China is willing to promote a number of high-standard, people-centered and sustainable projects with African countries, including South Africa, to build a high-level China-Africa community with a shared future.

Xi also reiterated China's commitment to implementing the initiatives on supporting Africa's industrialization and agricultural modernization, and promoting China-Africa cooperation on talent development.

China and Africa should continue to closely cooperate within the BRICS cooperation mechanism, strengthen solidarity and cooperation among developing countries and promote the global governance system to better benefit those countries, he said.

Speaking of the China-South Africa relationship, which has entered "a golden age", Xi said China is willing to work with South Africa to enrich their comprehensive strategic partnership and bring bilateral ties to new levels.

He stressed that China supports South Africa's efforts in exploring a path to modernization that is suited to its own conditions and will further reinforce the solid foundation of political mutual trust with the nation and intensify mutually beneficial cooperation.

Mashatile said that Xi's visit to South Africa in August further consolidated the two countries' traditional friendship and also gave strong momentum to the future development of bilateral ties.

South Africa will better align its own development strategies with the Belt and Road Initiative, deepen practical cooperation with China in various areas and continue enhancing collaboration with China within multilateral frameworks, he added.

(Web editor: Tian Yi, Liang Jun)


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