Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd Meets with Yang Jiechi
On February 5, 2008, Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd met with visiting Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi in Canberra.
Rudd said since the reform and opening up, China has made enormous achievements in development, adding that Australia is fully confident of China's development prospects. Rudd said Australia attaches great importance to developing China-Australia relations and hopes to increase bilateral exchanges and expand economic and trade cooperation as well as cooperation in the fields of climate change, clean energy, renewable energy, biotechnology and financial service.
Rudd said both Australia and China are major countries in the Asia-Pacific region, and the cooperation and mutual trust between the two countries will help strengthen the security, stability and prosperity in the region. He appreciated China's positive role in the Korean Peninsula nuclear issue and other regional and international issues. Rudd also wished the Beijing Olympic Games a great success.
Yang said both China and Australia are important nations in the Asia-Pacific region. China always views and strives to strengthen China-Australia relations from a developing, overall and strategic perspective so as to push bilateral ties to a new level.
Yang said the bilateral ties had developed greatly in recent years but there were still huge potentials and space in cooperation. He urged both sides to work together in achieving harmonious political coexistence, common economic development, mutual cultural exchange and security trust and cooperation. China expects to write a new chapter of bilateral relations with Australia on a new historical starting point, he added.
On the Taiwan question, Yang emphasized that Chen Shuibian authorities' proposed "referendum on U.N. membership" is a major move towards "de jure Taiwan independence", which will seriously damage peaceful development of the relations across the Taiwan Straits. It will also pose a severe threat to peace and stability across the Taiwan Straits and in the Asia-Pacific region and thus is widely opposed by the international community.
"We are trying our best to maintain peace and stability across the Taiwan Straits. We will not tolerate the "Taiwan independence" and will never allow anyone to separate Taiwan from China in any means," Yang said.
Rudd said Australia's "one-China" policy in the Taiwan question is clear and persistent. The Labor party will not change the position of holding the "one-China" policy. Taiwan authorities' efforts to push for the "referendum on UN membership in the name of Taiwan" were not at all conducive to the peace and stability in the region, the prime minister said.
Yang at the meeting also briefed on the efforts made by the people in the disaster-stricken areas to tide over the recent snow havoc under the leadership of the Chinese government. Rudd expressed sympathy and solicitude to the people in the disaster-stricken areas, expressing belief that the Chinese government will lead the people to overcome difficulties and win the fight against the heavy snow.