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Chinese, Australian Premiers Exchange Greetings on Anniversary of Relations
Chinese Premier Zhu Rongji and his Australian counterpart John Howard exchanged congratulatory messages Saturday on the occasion of the 30th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Australia and the People's Republic of China.

"On the occasion of the 30th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the People's Republic of China and the Commonwealth of Australia, I wish to extend, on behalf of the Chinese Government and people and in my own name, warm congratulations to Your Excellency and through you, to the Australian Government and people," said Zhu in his message to the Australian prime minister.

He went on to say that the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and Australia opened a new chapter of friendly exchanges between the two countries. Over the past 30 years, on the basis of the Five Principles of Peaceful Co-existence, bilateral relations have developed smoothly and cooperation and friendship have been strengthened constantly.

"China and Australia are both important countries in the Asia Pacific region," said Zhu, adding that "Developing an all-round relationship of cooperation between China and Australia is in the interest of the two peoples and is conductive to the stability and development in the Asia Pacific region."

Zhu also expressed his belief that with the joint efforts by the two governments and peoples, such an all-round relationship will continue to make new progress along the path of long-term stability and healthy development.

For his part, Howard said: "The relationship between our two countries has undergone remarkable development in that time," and "We have established numerous exchanges and agreements on issues as diverse as defense and security, tourism and consular matters. The close people-to-people links between our two countries are another integral part of our relationship."

"Over the last 30 years China itself has undergone significant change and experienced remarkable economic growth," said Howard in his message.

"I know that great opportunities for enhanced cooperation lie ahead of us and I look forward to seeing new achievements and developments in our bilateral relationship in the years to come," he added.

Chinese Foreign Minister Tang Jiaxuan and his Australian counterpart Alexander Downer also exchanged greetings on the occasion.

(Xinhua News Agency December 23, 2002)

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