Premier Wen Jiabao's Speech at the Welcome Ceremony Hosted by Australian Prime Minister John Howard, 2006 (Excerpt)
The Honorable John Howard, Prime Minister of Australia, the Honorable Kim Beazely, Ladies and Gentlemen, Dear Friends,
It is a great pleasure for me to be with you today and to meet with all the Australian friends present. May I begin by expressing our heartfelt thanks to you, Prime Minister John Howard, for your gracious hospitality. I would also like to take this opportunity to send our best wishes to the Australian people. I visited Australia in 1995, which left me a memorable impression. Coming back after 11 years, I have once again personally experienced the goodwill of the Australian people toward the Chinese people. In particular, I am deeply impressed by their growing interest in China. I think that people are paying greater attention to China because of the tremendous changes that are taking place in my country, made possible by the reform and opening-up program.
Ladies and gentlemen, dear friends, peace and development are the common pursuit of mankind, and the building of a harmonious world is the shared desire of all peoples. To achieve amity among people, harmony between man and nature and peaceful coexistence of countries requires the common effort of the international community. We are prepared to continue to work with the international community and Australia to build a harmonious world of enduring peace and prosperity.
Australia is endowed with rich resources and has a developed economy and advanced technologies, whereas China has a large population, a huge market and tremendous potential for development. Our economies are highly complementary. There are no fundamental differences standing in the way of China-Australia relations. Rather, we enjoy extensive converging interests. A long-term and stable relationship and cooperation between China and Australia serve the fundamental interests of both countries and peoples. The Chinese side views its relationship with Australia from a strategic perspective and wishes to become a good friend and good partner of Australia.
Prime Minister John Howard and I have had fruitful discussions today and we have reached broad agreement on developing China-Australia relationship of all-round cooperation for mutual benefit and win-win outcome in the 21st century. We both agreed to strengthen bilateral political exchanges and strategic dialogue to enhance mutual trust. We are committed to expanding cooperation in trade, investment, energy and resources and other fields and accelerating the China-Australia FTA negotiations for mutual benefit and common progress. We will promote cultural, educational and tourism exchanges to enhance understanding and friendship between our peoples. And we will work together to promote sound and orderly development of regional cooperation in the interest of prosperity and stability in the Asia-Pacific region. I am firm in the belief that, with the concerted efforts of both countries, China-Australia relations of all-round cooperation will yield rich fruits!
Now I wish to propose a toast, to the health of Prime Minister John Howard, to the friendship between China and Australia and between our peoples, and to the lofty cause of world peace and development! Cheers!