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Xi, Modi to address Australian Parliament
October 16, 2014, 6:53 am

Chinese President Xi Jinping (R) meets with visiting Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, capital of China, April 11, 2014 [Xinhua]

Chinese President Xi Jinping (R) meets with visiting Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, capital of China, April 11, 2014 [Xinhua]

Chinese President Xi Jinping and India Prime Minister Narendra Modi will address the Australian parliament in Canberra when they come to attend the G20 leaders’ summit in November.

China and Australia could ink a landmark Free Trade Agreement (FTA), negotiations for which has taken almost a decade, during Xi’s visit to the country next month.

Earlier this month, Beijing said it was imposing import tariffs on coal, an announcement that would hit Australian producers of the commodity the hardest. The move is expected to be negotiated during final rounds of discussions on the China-Australia FTA. China is one of the top buyers of Australian coal.

Meanwhile, India’s Adani Mining in September got approval from the federal government to develop a $1.94 billion coal mining project in Australia. The coal from the Galilee Basin is to be shipped to India from terminals at Abbot Point. Nearly 300 million people in India have limited or no access to electricity, according to the World Bank.

Earlier in September this year, stipulating its peaceful use and safe handling, Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott inked a civilian nuclear deal with his Indian counterpart in New Delhi. India and Australia had begun talks on the nuclear cooperation agreement in 2012.

Although India is not a signatory to the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, Abbott praised India as a model international citizen, one that Canberra trusts implicitly, he said.

“India has an absolutely impeccable non-proliferation record – an absolutely impeccable non-proliferation record – and India has been a model international citizen,” said Abbott.

Rising energy demand from the world’s most populous countries like China and India will boost Australia’s uranium industry, former Resources and Energy Minister Gary Gray said last year.

Over the next two decades India and China are set to bring 35 nuclear reactors online.

The Australian economy slowed in the second quarter with gross domestic product (GDP) rising a weak 0.5 per cent. The economy is struggling with the winding down of a decade-long boom in mining investment.

Australia has placed great premium on closer ties with China and India over the last few years.

Former Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard has said, “Whatever else this century brings, it will bring Asia’s rise. The transformation of the Asian region into the economic powerhouse of the world is not only unstoppable, it is gathering pace.”

In 2012 the Australian government published a White Paper on ‘Australia in the Asian Century’ explaining Australia’s pivot towards growth engines like India and China.

British Prime Minister David Cameron will also address the Australian Parliament after the G20 Summit. Earlier in July this year, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe also delivered a message to Australian lawmakers.

 

TBP

 

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