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Li Peng Starts Visit to Australia
Chinese top lawmaker Li Peng arrived Canberra Sunday evening for a weeklong official goodwill visit to Australia, which is part of the activities marking the 30th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties.

In a statement released upon his arrival, Li said China and Australia have common interests and shoulder major responsibilities in maintaining peace and promoting economic development in the Asia-Pacific region.

He said that thanks to the efforts made by top leadership of both countries, bilateral relations are on the way of sound and steady progress characterized by cooperation in all fields.

Li said his visit is intended to further bilateral contacts, enhance mutual trust, expand common ground and deepen cooperation with the Australian side.

Li, chairman of the Standing Committee of China's National People's Congress, is expected to meet General Governor Peter Hollingworth, Prime Minister John Howard as well as Australian parliament leaders.

Australia is the final leg of his four-nation Asia-Pacific trip, which has brought him to Thailand, Indonesia and the Philippines.

(Xinhua News Agency September 16, 2002)

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