Xi outlines proposal to further cement China-Australia ties
CANBERRA -- Chinese President Xi Jinping, in a signed article published Friday on the Australian Financial Review newspaper, propounded a multi-point proposal on deepening China-Australia friendship and cooperation.
The two sides should enhance mutual understanding, deepen practical cooperation, encourage people-to-people exchanges and step up strategic communication, suggested Xi, who arrives in Australia later in the day for a Group of 20 (G20) summit and a state visit.
Xi recalled the fruitful results the two countries have achieved in bilateral interaction since the establishment of diplomatic ties 42 years ago, saying China-Australia relations "have traversed an extraordinary journey, making us good friends and strategic partners and bringing real benefits to our two peoples."
The two nations have maintained close contact at both the top and other levels and deepened mutual trust, said the president, specifying that over 30 intergovernmental consultation mechanisms have been established and active exchanges between legislatures, political parties and militaries have been conducted.
On practical business cooperation, bilateral trade has expanded 1,500-fold in the past 42 years, and China is now Australia's largest trading partner, export market and source of imports, he said.
Lauding the vibrant people-to-people exchanges and deep bilateral friendship, Xi said the two countries have successfully held in each other's side the year of culture, which has fostered growing "Australia zeal" in China and "China zeal" in Australia.
The president pointed out that the most important reason for China and Australia to have brought bilateral relations to the current height is that they have followed the principles of mutual respect, equality and mutual benefit, promoted mutual trust through dialogue, sought win-win progress through cooperation, and cemented friendship through exchanges.
"This is proven to be the right path for the development of China-Australia relations," he said.
Currently, China is comprehensively deepening the process of reform and opening up, and Australia is speeding up economic restructuring and industrial upgrading. With strong internal strength for growth, great strategic significance and a solid foundation, Xi said, China-Australia cooperation will enjoy an even brighter prospect.
"I look forward to having an in-depth exchange of views with the Australian leaders and friends of all sectors during my forthcoming visit, to further tap into our cooperation potential, deepen friendship and jointly write a more splendid new chapter in China-Australia relations," Xi added.
The two nations, he proposed, need to enhance mutual understanding to reinforce the bond of mutual trust.
China and Australia "must live in harmony without seeking uniformity and pursue common ground while reserving differences, thus setting a good example of peaceful coexistence and win-win cooperation between countries of different cultural traditions, political systems and stages of development," he said.
Meanwhile, they need to deepen practical cooperation to reinforce the bond of common interests, Xi added, suggesting that the two sides should create new stimulus of growth in bilateral cooperation in finance, infrastructure, agriculture and other fields by bringing into full play their economic complementarity.
Besides, they need to reinforce their cultural bond by encouraging people-to-people exchanges, he said, urging the two nations to boost cooperation in education, culture and tourism so that the China-Australia friendship will take root deep in the hearts of the people.
In addition, they need to step up strategic communication to reinforce the bond of multilateral cooperation, said the Chinese president.
China, Xi added, stands ready to work with Australia to strengthen communication and coordination in international and regional mechanisms, and jointly safeguard peace and prosperity in the Asia-Pacific and beyond.
Commenting on the G20 summit due to take place in Brisbane at the weekend, Xi said he looks forward to working with Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott and leaders of other G20 members to formulate a comprehensive G20 growth strategy.