Visit marks end of tension

(China Daily)
Updated: 2009-10-30 08:06
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Vice-Premier Li Keqiang arrived in Australia last night for a three-day visit that marks the end of diplomatic tension between Canberra and Beijing.

"We have extensive and important common interests in safeguarding and promoting peace, stability and prosperity in the region," said Li.

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Relations soured in June after a failed bid by China's State-owned metals firm Chinalco to acquire a stake in Anglo-Australian Rio Tinto. The subsequent arrest in China of an Australian Rio Tinto executive over alleged business wrongdoing widened the rift.

China then cancelled a high-level diplomatic visit to Australia after Canberra granted a visa to Rebiya Kadeer, the alleged mastermind behind the July 5 riots in Urumqi.

But China's ambassador to Australia, Zhang Junsai, said both countries realize they must work together.

"The Chinese government sees it from a strategic perspective. It is very comprehensive. It is very solid," he told The Australian newspaper yesterday.

Australia's foreign minister this week also declared an end to Australia-China tension, saying it was "business as usual".