China, Australia pledge closer bilateral ties

Updated: 2014-11-19 19:01


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SYDNEY - Chinese President Xi Jinping and Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott pledged to boost bilateral ties as Abbott bid farewell to Xi and his wife Peng Liyuan here on Wednesday before the Chinese leader concluded his state visit.

Hailing the visit as "fruitful," Xi said he and Abbott have "deepened mutual understanding and trust."

During Xi's visit, China and Australia decided to upgrade their ties to a comprehensive strategic partnership, practically conclude bilateral negotiations on a free trade agreement (FTA), and establish a communication and cooperation mechanism between leaders of the two countries' provinces and states.

Xi said the cooperation between the two countries is of strategic, comprehensive and practical significance.

He expressed his gratitude for the Australian government and people's hospitality, adding that the Chinese people universally support the development of the China-Australia relationship.

The ongoing reform in both China and Australia will inject more vitality into bilateral cooperation, Xi said, stressing that the cooperation is important not only for the two countries, but also for the Asia-Pacific region and the world at large.

"I'm willing to maintain close contact with you, keep the good momentum of our countries' relationship and advance bilateral cooperation in a sustained way for new progress," said the Chinese president.

Abbott said Xi's visit is a great success with historic significance, endorsing Xi's ideas and proposals to advance the Australia-China relationship.

The elevation of the bilateral ties and the practical conclusion of the FTA negotiations will provide new opportunities for Australia, the Asia-Pacific region and the whole world, said the prime minister.

Abbott said he will maintain the good relationship with Xi and looks forward to visiting China again to know more about the large country with a long history and diversified culture.

After their meeting, Xi flew to Auckland for a state visit to New Zealand.