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Sunday, September 4, 2016, 13:33

China to advance strategic ties with Australia: Xi

By Xinhua & Agencies

China to advance strategic ties with Australia: Xi
Australia's Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull (left) shakes hands with Chinese President Xi Jinping at the West Lake State Guest House in Hangzhou on Sept 4, 2016. (WANG ZHAO / POOL / AFP)

HANGZHOU - China hopes to steadily advance comprehensive strategic partnership with Australia through more pragmatic cooperation and people-to-people exchanges, Chinese President Xi Jinping said Sunday.

Xi made the remarks when meeting Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull on the sidelines of the Group of 20 (G20) summit in Hangzhou.

Calling mutual trust "a precondition for the smooth development of bilateral ties," Xi said both sides should respect each other's choice of development path, core interests and major concerns.

"China hopes Australia can continue to create an equitable, transparent and predictable policy environment for foreign investors, and that will benefit Australia too," said Xi.

The Chinese president said the two countries could further complement each other with their own advantages and better implement the China-Australia free trade agreement.

He called for the aligning of China's Belt and Road Initiative with Australia's plan to develop its northern region, and expanded cooperation in energy and resources, agriculture and husbandry, food processing and infrastructure.

Both countries could seek synergy in innovation-driven development strategies and expand joint research in food, farming, mineral and marine science, Xi said, adding that cooperation on anti-corruption and anti-terrorism shall be strengthened.

Turnbull said that Australia enjoyed a traditional friendship with China, and the two countries' comprehensive strategic partnership received wide support in Australia.

Australia is committed to the implementation of the bilateral free trade agreement and is willing to deepen its economic and trade ties with China, he said.

Australia welcomes the investment from China, he said.

Xi also said China would like to strengthen communication and coordination with Australia within multilateral frameworks such as the United Nations, G20, the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation and the East Asia Summit.

China "hopes the Australian side continues to dedicate itself to providing foreign investors a fair, transparent and predictable policy environment", China's Foreign Ministry cited Xi as saying. "This also accords with Australia's own interests."

Xi said China and Australia should respect each others' "choices in their development paths and each others core interests and major interests", the foreign ministry added.

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