Written BY: M.mcnamara
Prime Minister Julia Gillard landed in Beijing Monday night for four days of meetings with Chinese leaders. Though Australia and China’s trade relationship will be the major topic throughout the meetings, security, North Korea and human rights will also be discussed.
She will meet with Premier Wen Jiabao and President Hu Jintao, and will also hold a speech tonight to address economic ties to top businesspeople from both countries at the Beijing Hotel Square. Guests include 550 invited Australian and Chinese business executives, including BHP Billiton CEO Marius Kloppers and Rio Tinto CEO Sam Walsh. No doubt the issues of free trade and the mining and carbon taxes will be raised.
According to The Australian, “Business will be looking for Ms Gillard to make supportive statements on Chinese investment in Australia and to dismiss any doubt that Australia welcomes and encourages Chinese capital, said Paul Glasson, the chief representative in China of the Australia China Business Council. ‘We will also look to her to promote new areas of co-operation, for example new resource areas like uranium and newer sectors such as agriculture and technology.’”
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The Australia-China economic relationship is growing exponentially, as China accounts for a quarter of all Australian exports, particularly coal and liquefied natural gas. “A prosperous China and a prosperous Australia trading together is good for both countries and that trade can increase both of our prosperities,” the Prime Minister said.
China is Gillard’s last stop of her tour through major North Asian countries, including South Korea and Japan.