CANBERRA - Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard on Monday will start her first visit to China as prime minister. Her visit aims to deepen mutual understanding and trust between the two countries, and to seek new cooperation opportunities with China, Chinese Ambassador to Australia Chen Yuming told Xinhua in a recent exclusive interview.
According to Chen, Chinese President Hu Jintao and Premier Wen Jiabao will meet with Gillard during the visit, while Premier Wen will hold talks with Gillard.
Together with other Chinese leaders, Gillard will attend two important business symposium, China-Australia economic forum and other activities. She will also make contacts with the Chinese science and education sectors.
"The visit will play an important role to promote exchange and cooperation between China and Australia, as well as to further deepen Australia's understanding of China," he told Xinhua reporters.
Chen said Gillard's visit to China is crucial because: First of all, maintaining close contacts between the leaders of China and Australia will play an important role in promoting mutual understanding, political mutual trust, and deepen all-round cooperation between the two countries.
Secondly, China has approved the implementation of the 12th Five-Year Plan shortly before Gillard's arrival. Chen said the 12th Five-Year Plan is not only a blueprint for the development of China, but will also provide opportunities for Sino-Australian cooperation.
"In recent years, economic exchanges between the two countries have been closer, and such exchanges and cooperation have helped both nations walk out of the global financial crisis shadows, achieving rapid economic recovery and development," Chen said, adding that Chinese leader will explain the concept of the 12th Five-Year Plan to Gillard, in a move to seek new opportunities for cooperation.
Thirdly, Chen said, while we are facing profound changes in the international situation, this visit will provide an opportunity for the two countries to conduct high-level communication on regional and international issues, and it will further strengthen regional and international cooperation to create good prospects.
Forth, Chen said, Australia and China are different countries in terms of culture and ideology, and both sides likely have different views regarding particular issues. During the visit, the two leaders will exchange views on issues of common concern.
"In particular, Australia will have the opportunity to learn about China in many fields, including the tremendous progress made in the field of human rights," Chen said.
"This will provide Australia a more objective and comprehensive understanding of China and its policy. Therefore, the visit will deepen mutual understanding and trust."
China-Australia economic and trade relations have gained a record high last year, and Chen said economic growth prospects between the two countries are very strong.
The appreciation of the RMB and the Australian dollar have suggested strong economic growth of both countries, and Chen said it is foreseeable that economic and trade cooperation between China and Australia will present new perspectives.
Also, Chen said the Australian Cultural Year held in China last year and the Chinese Cultural Year being held in Australia this year are targeting to promote each other's history and culture, and to enhance mutual understanding between the two peoples.
Chen said he is sure that this year's Chinese Cultural Year will raise a cultural exchange climax in Australia.