Australian prime minister says
China's progress is good news

CANBERRA — Australian Prime Minister John Howard said on Thursday that China's rapid development is good news to Australian and other parts of the world.

He told visiting Chinese Vice-Premier Zeng Peiyan that Australia attaches great importance to her ties with China.

He expressed the hope that the two countries will strengthen their cooperation in the areas of energy and sustainable development through the Asia-Pacific partnership on clean development and climate, which was established a year ago and involves both countries plus four other key economies in the region, and a bilateral working team on clean coal.

The prime minister also said his country sticks to the One China policy and will not support any talks or deeds of "de jure Taiwan independence."

Zeng praised the development of the bilateral relations, mentioning frequent exchanges at various levels, rapid increase of investment and advanced cooperation in the energy sector.

He pointed out that the two countries are facing new opportunities of development for this year, which marks the 35th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries.

China is willing to promote, together with the Australian side, the on-going negotiations of Sino-Australian Free Trade Agreement and cooperation in the South Pacific region, he said.

He singled out the energy sector, the utilization of clean coal technology and effective response to climate changes as the areas for further bilateral cooperation.

The Chinese vice-premier also expressed his appreciation over the Australian government's stance of One China policy and opposition to "Taiwan independence."

Zeng also met with Australia's Deputy Prime Minister Mark Vaile, Foreign Minister Alexander Dower and Opposition leader Kevin Rudd on Thursday.

Zeng's nine-day visit to Australia started in Perth, Western Australia last Monday. He held talks with local leaders on trade and investment opportunities between the mining industry of the state and China. He is also to visit Brisbane, the capital of Queensland.

Australia is the first leg of Zeng's four-nation trip to South Pacific, which will also take him to New Zealand, Vanuatu and Papua New Guinea.

Source: Xinhua