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Rudd highlights shared wishes
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China and Australia yesterday agreed to foster long-term cooperation "from a strategic perspective", despite having different points of view on Tibet.

Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao (L) and visiting Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd (2nd L) review the guard of honor during a welcoming ceremony at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, capital of China, on April 10, 2008.

In a talk with visiting Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd, Premier Wen Jiabao called for fresh efforts to develop bilateral relations, including promoting negotiations for a free trade agreement, seeking "win-win" energy and resources cooperation and working more closely together on climate change.

Rudd said Australia is willing to be China's "reliable" long-term partner in the energy, resources and manufacturing industries, and hopes to expand cooperation in service industries such as finance and telecommunication. China overtook Japan last year to become Australia's biggest trading partner.

The former diplomat stationed in Beijing acknowledged the rapid growth in bilateral relations and the development China has achieved.

"When I was with my wife in the car this morning - she's not been here for 20 years since we lived here - she said: 'This is a very different Beijing to the one we lived in'," Rudd said in his opening remarks at the talks.

"She is a very good case study of how much China has changed."

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