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Xi talks FTA with Australian PM
July 9, 2013, 9:46 am

[Getty Images]

The Chinese president stressed on the need for an early conclusion to free trade talks with Australia [Getty Images]

Chinese President Xi Jinping has discussed bilateral relations with Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd during a telephone conversation.

“China and Australia should work for better investment environments for their enterprises and expand practical cooperation in infrastructure,” said President Xi.

The Chinese leader also stressed on the need for an early conclusion to free trade talks with Australia.

The Australian prime minister has placed trust in the Chinese economy and its growth momentum.

Rudd was quoted by Chinese news agency Xinhua as saying that the Asian giant “will benefit Australia, the Asia-Pacific region and the world”.

China will host the 2014 economic leaders’ meeting of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum.

Australian foreign policy analyst Hugh White has argued, in an article for an Australian daily, that the new Australian prime  minister’s foreign policy outline in relation to China and the US would be closely watched.

“Rudd understands China and what it means for Australia as well as anyone. But adapting to China’s rise means overturning all kinds of comfortable assumptions about Australia’s place in the world.

“For Australia today, leadership on foreign policy means above all explaining to Australians how their world has changed. That means telling some hard truths,” White wrote.

Australia published a White Paper on ‘Australia in the Asian Century’ last year.

A recent poll showed that more Australians place a higher value on the country’s relationship with the US than with China, 48 per cent compared with 37 per cent.

With inputs from Agencies