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Containing China not our outlook- Australia
April 5, 2013, 5:32 am

[Getty Images]

Gillard will visit China for the second time as prime minister later this week [Getty Images]

Australia and China will share perspectives on economic and security challenges, says Julia Gillard, the Australian prime minister.

Gillard will be visiting China for the second time as prime minister from 5th-10th April.

The prime minister said that Australia does not believe in a containment policy in relation to China.

“That is not our outlook” said Gillard, “What we want to see is a prosperous China, increasingly engaged in our region and in the world.

“We think that that is good for China, it’s good for the region, it’s good for the world,” she said.

The prime minister said the timing of her visit, soon after the new leadership of China has entered into office is “deliberate “, adding that it reflects the importance of Australia’s rapidly evolving relationship with China.

The prime minister, speaking at the Foreign Correspondent Association said she will be among the first Western leaders to meet the new Chinese leadership.

Leading “the most senior Australian political delegation ever,” to China, she said “I’ll be promoting our trade and economic interests and sharing perspectives on global and regional economic and security challenges.”

“By 2030 there will be more than 3 billion middle class consumers in the region to our north,” Gillard said.

“Thanks to the relationships and capabilities we’ve built over four decades, Australia is pushing on an open door as we enter the Asian Century. ”

When asked whether Australia’s long-time alliance with the United States would be affected by its enhanced relations with China, Gillard said “I don’t view us as being in a position where the strong and growing relationship we have with China is somehow in contest, or in contrast, to the relationship we have with the United States of America.”

As for the competition from Russia and other countries in terms of providing energy to China, Gillard admitted that the competition in the energy sector is getting stronger and more acute, but she said she was confident that Australia is good in meeting the demand.

“I think we’re very good now and we are always going to have to look for the innovations that make us an even better quality supplier,” she said.