Australia to Start 14 Aid Projects in China

Australia will launch 14 new development projects in China focused on poverty alleviation, Australian Ambassador to China David Irvine announced Saturday from his embassy.

At a reception marking the 20th anniversary of the Australian development cooperation programs in China, Irvine said that new projects will be focused on the poorer areas of the central and western provinces or autonomous regions in China.

Improvements will be seen in "rural development, reducing environmental damage, provision of health services and supporting education reform," Irvine said.

The Australian Agency for International Development (AUSAID) will donate US$56 million to support China's fight to wipe out poverty, he said.

Irvine recalled that AUSAID, initially focusing on the development of China's eastern seaboard in the early 1980s, switched its concern over poor areas in central and western China.

According to statistics, an AUSAID 1999-2000 project financed the education of 100,000 children in 20 poor counties.

"Given the size of China, the major issues of domestic concern to China including economic development, the management of water, environmental protection and the development of the western regions are issues that have implications for regional and perhaps even global development and stability," Irvine said.

Australia and China can be mutually supportive in tackling these issues, he said.

(People's Daily 09/29/2001)

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