Premier Wen Jiabao and Australian Prime Minister John Howard agreed in Cebu on Monday to set up a Sino-Australian clean coal work group in order to promote effective utilization of coal resources and tackle the global problem of climate changes.
Wen and Howard held a meeting Monday morning in this resort city in central Philippines. The two sides exchanged views on the negotiations about the China-Australia Free Trade Zone.
During the meeting, Howard said Australia and China share a solid foundation of trade and economic links. Australia is willing to work for further expansion of trade and economic cooperation between the two countries.
Wen said China is ready to join effort with Australia to push bilateral relations to a new stage. He expressed the wish that the two countries should continue to push forward cooperation on energy and mineral resources development. In the mean time, Wen hoped that the two countries should make active moves in cooperation in scientific, technological and environmental areas.
Facts prove that China and Australia are fully capable of setting an example in bilateral relations for countries of different social systems and cultural backgrounds, Wen said, adding that the two countries should seize the current opportunity to enhance political trust, strengthen communication on regional and international affairs and jointly safeguard peace and stability in the Asia-Pacific region.
Howard said Australia and China have witnessed sound development of bilateral relations due to cooperation based on broad common interests. He expressed the wish to continue to maintain and expand friendly relations and step mutually beneficial cooperation between the two countries.
Wen and Howard are in Cebu to attend the East Asia Summit held on Monday.
(Xinhua News Agency January 15, 2007)