China is not a strategic threat: Australian opposition leader
BRISBANE, Australia: Australian opposition leader Malcolm Turnbull said here Saturday that Australia should not see China as a strategic threat or a potential rival.
Turnbull, leader of the Australian opposition Liberal Party, made the remarks during a meeting with visiting Chinese Vice Premier Li Keqiang at Brisbane airport.
Turnbull noted that his party, whether in power or in opposition, has always pursued a positive China policy and has built a strong, deep and fruitful relationship with China for years.
The Liberal Party believes that China is taking the road of peaceful development and Australia should not treat China as a strategic threat or a potential competitor, he said.
His party would like to work with the Chinese side to strengthen cooperation in tackling global challenges such as climate change and to further enhance bilateral relations between the two countries, he said.
The Liberal Party sticks to the one-China policy and respects and supports the Chinese government's efforts to safeguard the country's national sovereignty, territorial integrity and national reunification, Turnbull said, adding that his party would not support any forces that seek to split China.
Li expressed appreciation for the Liberal Party's adherence to the one-China policy and its upholding of the principle that Tibet is part of Chinese territory.
Party-to-party exchanges are an important component of the China-Australia relationship, Li said. The Communist Party of China is ready to expand exchanges and cooperation with the Liberal Party on the basis of independence, equality, mutual respect and non-interference in each other's internal affairs.
China and Australia share broad common interests and their common interests far outweigh their differences, Li said, adding that there is a broad prospect for further development of their bilateral relations.
It is essential for the two countries to respect each other's core interests and major concerns and handle sensitive issues with a strategic and long-term perspective, Li said.
The Chinese side is ready to work with both the Australian ruling and opposition parties to further promote the healthy and steady development of the all-round bilateral relationship, Li said.
Li arrived in Sydney on Thursday at the start of a four-day official visit to Australia. He arrived here from Canberra, the capital city.
During his stay in Australia, the Chinese vice premier had already met with senior Australian leaders and local government officials and made a speech at a reception hosted by Australian business leaders.
Li is due to leave for New Zealand on Sunday as part of a three-nation tour that will also take him to Papua New Guinea.