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Minister: Media Exchanges Boost Sino-Australian Ties
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Media from China and Australia should strengthen cooperation and help beef up the long-term, lasting and stable development of Sino-Australian relationship and friendship, a senior Chinese government official said today.

Now that the Sino-Australian ties have been upgraded to a new high following Premier Wen Jiabao's successful visit two weeks ago, Cai Wu, minister of the State Council Information Office, has called media of the two countries to do their part to cement a full-fledged fruitful relationship. 

Cai told the China-Australia Media Forum which opened in Sydney Tuesday that China has a lot to learn from Sydney and Australia in order to make the 2008 summer Olympic Games a complete success in Beijing. Sydney made the 2000 games a worldwide splendor.


Cai, who is leading a media delegation visiting Australia, suggested the media outlets from the two countries build up understanding via better engagement, play their role to boost trade and expand prosperity of the two economies, and help accelerate cultural exchanges between the two friendly peoples.


"China's development and future trends need the attention from Australian media. We hope that the Australian media can have a deep understanding of China's initiatives of building a harmonious society and facilitating the development of a harmonious world, and convey these messages to Australian friends so that they can be well informed of a peaceful, stable, prosperous and responsible China," Cai said in a key-note speech delivered to the forum.


Sino-Australian relationship is now at its best, Cai said, adding the two Aian-Pacific region giants have a lot to gain in developing a mutually beneficial relationship during the 21st century.


Australian Prime Minister John Howard said that his country will "work closely with China to pursue our shared goal of a stable and prosperous region."


"Of all the important relationships that Australia has with other countries, none has been more greatly transformed over the last 10 years than our relationship with China," Howard said of bilateral ties, hailing China's emergence as a regional and global power as a positive development.


Chinese and Australian economies are highly complementary and interdependent. Increasing exports of Australian raw resources has aided China's rapid boom, and, Australian economy has become more dynamic, too.


China has a vast market, a huge pool of labor resources, a stable social and political environment as well as strong growth momentum, which is expected to generate more business opportunities and growth engines to economic development in other countries, including Australia, Cai said.


The two agreements that China and Australia have clinched during Premier Wen Jiabao's visit is expected to open the door for wider cooperation, especially in the area of trade, with one as a rich reservoir of natural resources and the other as a stable and rising huge market. Two-way trade reached US$27.5 billion in 2005.


The Chinese minister expressed the hope that the media of the two countries would deepen dialogue and exchanges on the principle of "seeking common ground while shelving differences". Though China and Australia have different social systems, the media need to help the two countries expand understanding with a respect to each other politically, Cai said.


Cai also lauded the media from the two countries for their contributions to disseminating the cultures of China and Australia and building up rapport of the two peoples.


The recent years have witnessed intensified cultural activities. The highlights include the one-week-long Australian Cultural Festival in Shanghai and the extravaganza of Chinese culture and art in Australia's most famous landmark, the Sydney Opera House. An array of activities promoting Chinese culture in Australia, which started from the beginning of 2006, is now well received on the continent.


The State Council Information Office is charged with offering information about China to the rest of the world and letting the world understand China more accurately, the minister said.


With the growth of China's economy, Chinese media industry has undergone a tremendous development in the past 20 years, Cai said. Rough statistics show that China has over 1,900 newspapers, 9,400 periodicals, two news agencies, more than 500 publishing houses, 280 radio stations, 300 TV stations, 120 million Internet users and nearly 1 million websites.


However, compared with their international peers, the Chinese media have only a small share in the international market in terms of distribution and sales revenues, the Chinese minister said.


(China Daily April 11, 2006)


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