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Visit by the Premier of China.

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I am pleased to announce that the Premier of China, HE Wen Jiabao, will visit Australia from 1-4 April 2006.

I look forward to discussing with Premier Wen our mutual interest in strengthening and broadening our bilateral relationship, including on trade issues and nuclear cooperation. The signing of significant government-to-government and business agreements during the visit will enhance our bilateral links in a range of areas.

Australia’s relationship with China is increasingly close and mutually beneficial. Our relationship is driven by natural economic complementarities, which have made China our second largest trading partner. Trade between Australia and China was worth $37.4 billion in 2005. We also have strong people-to-people links. China is Australia’s largest source of international students and business visitors and our second largest source of migrants.

China’s emergence as a regional and global power is a positive development and Australia will work closely with China to pursue our shared goal of a stable and prosperous region.

Premier Wen will visit Canberra, Perth and Sydney during his time in Australia.

31 March 2006