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Statement by the Governor-General: State visit to China.

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MEDIA RELEASE 07-10-2005



7 OCTOBER 2005

My wife and I are delighted to accept an invitation from the President of the People’s Republic of China,

His Excellency Mr Hu Jintao, to pay a State Visit to China next week. This will be my first visit to China as Governor-General and comes at a time of great expansion in the relationship between Australia and China, including rapidly developing economic and trade ties. China recently became Australia’s second largest merchandise trading partner, and tourism and education links are growing rapidly.

This visit follows on from the recent visits to China by Prime Minister Howard in April and to Australia by National People’s Congress Chairman Wu Bangguo in May.

The last visit to China by an Australian Governor-General was in November 1995 by the Hon Bill Hayden.

While in China I will meet Chinese President Hu Jintao, as well as a number of other senior leaders. I look forward to renewing my acquaintance with President Hu, whom I have met previously on his visit to Australia in October 2003, and more recently in Moscow in May 2005.

In my discussions with senior Chinese leaders I will affirm the importance Australia places on continuing to expand our strong bilateral ties with China. I will also take the opportunity to promote Australia’s strong economic complementarities with China.

My visit to the Dapeng LNG terminal site in Guangdong will underscore Australia’s commitment as a stable and reliable, long-term energy partner for China.

I will meet leading Australian businesses operating in China, including Cochlear Ltd, which provides bionic ear implants across China.

I will also visit an Australian-funded rural health project, where I hope to gain first-hand appreciation of the challenges China faces as it develops, and the contribution that Australia is making to these efforts.

I will depart for Shanghai on 12 October and also visit Xian, Beijing Guangzhou, and Shenzhen before finishing in Hong Kong on 21 October.