Mon, November 17, 2008
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Chinese, Australian leaders vow to expand co-op

2008-11-16 20:14:28 GMT2008-11-17 04:14:28 (Beijing Time)  Xinhua English

Chinese President Hu Jintao (R) shakes hands with Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd during their meeting in Washington Nov. 16, 2008.(Xinhua Photo)

WASHINGTON, Nov. 16 (Xinhua) -- Chinese President Hu Jintao and Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd on Sunday pledged joint efforts to expand bilateral cooperation at their meeting here.

The two leaders met on the sidelines of the Group of 20 (G20) summit on financial markets and the world economy.

Hu said China and Australia are witnessing healthy and rapid development of bilateral ties, with ever deepening mutual understanding and trust. Marked achievements have been secured in the mutually beneficial cooperation in trade, energy, environmental protection, technology, education, culture, law enforcement and tourism, he said.

Bilateral trade is growing rapidly and negotiations on a free trade agreement are making steady progress, the Chinese president said.

Hu said both sides are maintaining coordination on major global issues like climate change and the current financial crisis, and have seen increasing consensus and cooperation.

He pointed out that China and Australia face unprecedented opportunities for deepening all-round bilateral cooperation in the face of many global challenges to the international community.

China is ready to work with Australia to keep high-level contacts, enhance exchanges and dialogue and deepen mutual trust and cooperation on the basis of mutual respect, equality and mutual benefit, Hu said.

Rudd said Australia hopes to elevate bilateral relations to the level of a strategic partnership.

Australia is willing to open its doors to Chinese investment in the energy and raw material sectors and expects China to provide more opportunities for Australian products and services to enter the Chinese market, he said.

Australia hopes to enhance high-level political dialogue with China in international organizations and international affairs, and strengthen bilateral and multilateral consultations and cooperation, Rudd said.

The Chinese president described the G20 summit in Washington asa success and urged all sides involved to make joint efforts to implement the agreements reached at the meeting.

He also called for strong measures to stop the financial crisis from spreading further and to restore confidence and market stability.

All sides involved should adjust their macroeconomic policy and make full use of monetary and fiscal measures to promote growth and avoid a global recession, he said.

There is a need to steadily push forward reforms of the international financial system to make it conducive to the stability of financial markets and economic growth, he said.

China has adopted a series of measures to promote growth and boost domestic demand, Hu said, adding that these measures, while promoting China's economic growth, will also help stabilize the world economy.

Hu also said the measures will provide new opportunities for Australian businesses and called on both sides to seize the opportunities to promote bilateral trade and economic ties.

Rudd praised China's contributions to the positive outcome of the G20 summit and said China's recently-announced economic stimulus package is good news for both the Chinese and the world economy.

He said China's policies during the Asian financial crisis in 1997 contributed to the economic recovery and growth of the region, and Australia sees favorably China's similar actions this time.

Rudd expressed confidence that the current difficulties in the world economy will be overcome, and he said Australia hopes both sides will strengthen cooperation to jointly contribute to global economic growth.

The United States is the first leg of President Hu's five-nation tour, which will also take him to Costa Rica, Cuba, Peru and Greece.

During his stay in Peru, he will attend the Economic Leaders' Informal Meeting of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum in Lima.

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