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China, Australia Pledge to Further Bilateral Cooperation
Australian Prime Minister John Howard met here Monday with visiting Chinese top lawmaker Li Peng and the two sides agreed to further enhance cooperation in various fields.

During their talks, the two leaders expressed satisfaction with the development of bilateral ties since the two countries established diplomatic relations 30 years ago.

The two sides have established a mechanism of consultation and dialogue on political and security issues, Li said, adding that economic cooperation and cultural exchanges between the two countries have also maintained a strong momentum.

He congratulated Australia for winning the contract to supply south China's province of Guangdong with 3.3 million tons of liquefied natural gas (LNG) annually in the next 25 years, saying that the agreement reached earlier this year foresees a bright future of bilateral economic cooperation that benefits both sides.

"My visit this time is intended to enhance mutual trust, broaden common ground and deepen cooperation with Australia," said Li, chairman of the Standing Committee of China's National People's Congress.

Sharing Li's comments on bilateral ties, Howard said the relationship is "in good shape" with strong economic cooperation and increasing exchanges between various levels of both countries.

He noted that Australia's exports to China have doubled in the past five years, adding that China has become the third largest trading partner of his country.

He also predicted that Australia would see more tourists from China than from Japan in the year 2010.

During their talks, two leaders also exchanged views on international issues including the situation in South Asia.

Australia is the final leg of Li's four-nation Asia-Pacific tour, which has brought him to Thailand, Indonesia and the Philippines.

(Xinhua News Agency September 17, 2002)

Li Peng Starts Visit to Australia
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