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Chinese president to visit Australia, attend APEC economic leaders' meeting

    BEIJING, Aug. 27 (Xinhua) -- From Sept. 3 to 9, Chinese President Hu Jintao will pay a state visit to Australia and attend the 15th economic leaders' informal meeting of Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation.

    This was announced by Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Liu Jianchao here Monday.

    Hu is to make his Australian visit as guest of Governor-General Michael Jeffery and Prime Minister John Howard.

    During his stay, he will also attend the APEC economic leaders' informal meeting, due to be held in Sydney.

    APEC is the premier forum for facilitating economic growth, cooperation, trade and investment in the Asia-Pacific region.

    Since APEC's birth in 1989, it has grown to encompass 21 members spanning four continents, and represents about 40 percent of the world's population, 56 percent of global GDP and 48 percent of world trade.

    APEC members include Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, China, China's Hong Kong, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Peru, the Philippines, Russia, Singapore, South Korea, Chinese Taipei, Thailand, the United States and Vietnam.

    Leaders of 21 APEC member economies last convened in Hanoi, capital of Vietnam, in 2005. The two-day meeting yielded a Hanoi Declaration covering issues including advancing free trade and investment, enhancing human security, and building stronger societies and a more dynamic and harmonious community.

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