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Gas to Make City Cleaner
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Australia would help Shenzhen create a cleaner city with a diversified and sustained economy, Alan Thomas, the Australian ambassador to China said Wednesday.


He was speaking after meeting Acting Mayor Li Hongzhong on Wednesday.


This is the first time Thomas has visited the city after taking up his new post in Beijing last March.


Thomas was particularly impressed with Li’s interest in air quality and environmental protection as well as his plan for a diversified and sustained city economy.


Thomas said the joint liquefied natural gas (LNG) project between Australia and China would be an important component in building a cleaner city.


“So far, this is the largest energy project Australia has ever had with China,” Thomas said.


He said the Australian LNG companies were ready to send their first shipment to Shenzhen when the LNG terminal in Shenzhen was to be completed in June 2006.


Meanwhile, Australia and China are conducting a joint feasibility study of a free trade agreement between the two countries.


“The study has to be completed by October next year,” Thomas said.


“At that point, both governments will make decisions, based on the findings of the study, whether we’d wish to start negotiating for a free trade agreement.”


(Shenzhen Daily February 19, 2004)

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