Chinese Foreign Minister Tang Jiaxuan met in Canberra on March 19 with his Australian counterpart Alexander Downer.
Downer welcomed Tang saying that this year is the 30th anniversary of the establishment of the diplomatic ties between China and Australia and Tang is the first Chinese foreign minister to visit Australia during the past 10 years.
Tang Jiaxuan said since the diplomatic relations established 30 years ago, the Sino-Australian relationship developed smoothly and Chinese President Jiang Zemin's state visit to Australia in 1999 pushed strongly ahead the bilateral relations.
He said the Chinese government pays attention to the Sino-Australian ties and is ready to cooperate further with the Australian government to widen mutual understanding and reduce differences and use the 30th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations as an opportunity to strengthen the existing cooperative relations between the two countries.
Downer highly appreciated the positive and constructive role China plays in the world and the region and agreed to Tang's view, saying that Australia and China, as two important states in the Asia-Pacific region, should increase view exchange and strengthen cooperation on important world and regional issues.
Australia attaches importance to the big market of China which is the fifth biggest export destination of the Australian goods.
(People's Daily March 19, 2002)