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Vice Premier Meets Western Australia's Premier
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Vice Premier Zeng Peiyan on Wednesday met with the visiting Western Australia Premier Alan Carpenter in the Great Hall of the People in Beijing.


Both Zeng and Carpenter hailed the sound progress of China-Australia ties, citing increased mutual trust and stronger trade ties.


As this year marks the 35th anniversary of establishment of China-Australia diplomatic ties, Chinese President Hu Jintao will pay a state visit to Australia later this year, Zeng said.


"The visit will definitely further boost the development of the China-Australia all-round partnership featuring mutual benefit and common development," Zeng said.


"The partnership with China is very valuable and important to Western Australia," Carpenter said, adding China is now the leading export partner of Western Australia.


Noting that Western Australia is rich in resources and enjoys a full market economy, Carpenter called on Chinese business people to invest in the region.


During their half-hour meeting, Zeng and Carpenter both expressed their wish for an early conclusion of Free Trade Area (FTA) negotiations between China and Australia.


Australia was one of the first Western countries to initiate FTA negotiations with China. The FTA negotiations, which began in 2005, have now entered a substantive phase.


Zeng and Carpenter also agreed to tap the potential of cooperation in science and technology, culture, education and people-to-people exchanges.


This is Carpenter's third visit to China in three years.


Carpenter will also visit east China's Zhejiang Province which has become famous for its booming private companies.


His visit coincides with the 20th anniversary of sister state relations between Western Australia and Zhejiang.


(Xinhua News Agency June 7, 2007)

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