BRISBANE, AUSTRALIA: A joint statement released Friday by China and Australia to strengthen practical cooperation for mutual benefits will be of great guiding significance to bilateral relations, Chinese Vice Foreign Minister He Yafei said here Saturday.
He Yafei said the statement, which highlights common interests, is a historic document and a defining moment for the future of the two nations. It, He said, showcases the two nations' dedication in building a stable and healthy relationship with a strategic perspective.
China and Australia, two important nations in the Asia-Pacific region, share complementary economies as well as referential culture, He said. The vice foreign minister said China and Australia have a broad range of common interests, therefore, cooperation remains a need and the only choice for both sides.
Noting that Australia reiterated its stance of sticking to the one-China policy on the Taiwan issue and respects China's sovereignty and territorial integrity, including in relation to China's Tibet and Xinjiang, He said "This is of great importance in dealing with future differences, as it is the foundation of our political ties."
He said he was pleased to see China and Australia agree in the statement to "respect and take into full consideration the core interests and major concerns of each other."
Given the fact that China and Australia share strong economic ties and the Australian government has recently approved three applications of Chinese investment in Australia, He said he sees a bright future for the two sides. He said he believes the two countries enjoy a promising future in bilateral trade and investment.
On the China-Australia Free Trade Agreement, He said the willingness and preparedness expressed in the joint statement reflects the determination of both sides to conclude the negotiations as soon as possible.
"I have confidence on a fruitful result on the FTA negotiations," he said.
He also said there has been close cooperation between China and Australia in various international mechanisms such as the United Nations, G20 and climate change discussions in Copenhagen.
Saying that China has become a major source of overseas students studying in Australia, He said, last but not least, there has been close and extensive people-to-people exchanges in such fields as education, culture, sports, tourism and the media.
The expected arrival of a pair of pandas to Australia by December is expected to be more evidence for such a close tie, he added.