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China, Australia should push forward strategic partnership: Xi

BEIJING, Sept. 27 (Xinhua) -- Chinese President Xi Jinping stressed the importance of maintaining and developing the China-Australia strategic partnership in a telephone call with Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott Friday.

Xi congratulated Abbott on his recent election to Australia's top post and expressed appreciation for his attention to China-Australia ties.

China was ready to work with Australia from a strategic and long-term perspective to continuously push forward their partnership, and enhance cooperation and coordination in major international and regional affairs with Australia, an important country in the Asia-Pacific region, Xi said.

He hoped both nations worked together to speed up free trade agreement (FTA) negotiations on the basis of equality, pragmatism and mutual benefits.

Both sides should take the opportunities presented by China hosting the APEC summit and Australia the G20 summit next year to enhance coordination and mutual support, Xi said.

The two sides should also make joint efforts to drive the upcoming APEC summit in Indonesia to focus on its themes and obtain positive results in such fields as development, trade and economy, Xi said.

Abbott said Australia was willing to become a sincere friend and credible partner of China and the new government would, as always, promote a more stable and vigorous development of the strategic partnership.

Australia hoped to maintain high-level exchanges and deepen friendly cooperation with China, Abbott said, adding Australia welcomed Chinese investment and was ready to reach a mutually beneficial bilateral free trade agreement with China at an early date.

The prime minister also said Australia would enhance communication and coordination with China to ensure the success of the APEC summit this year and promote the development of the world economy.

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