President Jiang Meets Australian Prime Minister

Chinese President Jiang Zemin met with Australian Prime Minister John Howard Saturday morning in Shanghai, where they are attending this year's Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) informal leaders' meeting.

Howard expressed his appreciation for the Chinese government's fine arrangements for the APEC meetings.

President Jiang said he is very much pleased to welcome leaders of the APEC economies to attend the meeting as host.

Howard said he felt it encouraging that the leaders could gather in Shanghai to discuss important issues concerning the regional economy shortly after the September 11 terrorist attacks in the United States.

He stressed that the leaders must find ways at the meeting to revive the public's confidence in the world and regional economies, promote cooperation and boost global economic growth.

The Australian prime minister said he is satisfied at the sound development of bilateral ties and is pleased with China's imminent entry into the World Trade Organization (WTO).

He also congratulated China on Beijing's successful bid to host the 2008 Olympic Games, adding that Australia, having just hosted the Sydney Olympic Games, is willing to offer any assistance Beijing might need.

President Jiang said the Chinese government has always attached great importance to Sino-Australian relations, and that China is willing to work together with Australia to strengthen the liaison and exchanges between leaders of the two countries, expand bilateral exchanges and cooperation in economic, trade, and science and technology fields, and promote a further development of bilateral ties.

Jiang noted that China's imminent WTO entry will bring about new opportunities for expanded exchanges and cooperation in many more areas between China and the rest of the world, including Australia.

As two important members of the APEC forum, China and Australia share interests in many fields and China is willing to collaborate with Australia in further advancing the cooperation agenda of APEC, Jiang said.

The two leaders also exchanged views on the fight against international terrorism and other issues.

(Xinhua News Agency 10/20/2001)

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