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Senior Chinese leader meets Australian PM

CANBERRA, Nov. 9 (Xinhua) -- Senior leader of the Communist Party of China (CPC), Zhou Yongkang, on Saturday met with Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd, vowing to cement bilateral ties.

Zhou conveyed the cordial greetings of Chinese President Hu Jintao and Premier Wen Jiabao to Rudd, who in return extended good wishes to the Chinese leadership.

China and Australia have conducted fruitful cooperation in politics, economy, culture, science and technology since the two forged diplomatic ties in 1972, said Zhou, one of the nine-member Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee.

Zhou said the two countries' economic and social development and complicated changes of international situation brought broad prospects and new topics for the bilateral cooperation.

"As big nations in Asia-Pacific region, China and Australia shoulder important responsibilities of ensuring regional and global peace and stability, promoting the sustainable development of the economy," Zhou said.

Zhou proposed the two sides enhance political trust, strengthen coordination and cooperation on regional and international issues so as to cement the political foundation of bilateral relationship.

On the economic front, Zhou said the two should deepen economic and trade cooperation, promptly address the problems.

Zhou also called for the two countries to promote cultural and people-to-people exchanges and expand cooperation on justice and security.

Zhou hailed the roles of Australian Labor Party and Rudd, who served as party chief, in promoting bilateral relations.

"The CPC would like to work with all parties in Australia to further promote the overall relations and benefit the two nations," Zhou said.

Rudd congratulated China on a successful Beijing Olympics and asked how the reconstruction went on in Sichuan which was devastated by an 8-magnitude earthquake in May.

Rudd said the third plenary session of the 11th CPC Congress was significant for contemporary China and boosted the Australia-China relations.

Australia-China cooperation is long-term as the two countries are complementary in economy, he said.

As the global financial crisis has increasingly affected the real economy and the international situation has undergone changes, it is imperative to formulate new systems, Rudd said.

The joint challenges posed by terrorism and climate change made Australia-China cooperation strategic, he said.

Rudd said the two leaderships should plan and develop bilateral ties from a long-term view and take bilateral comprehensive cooperation to a new high.

Zhou and Rudd met for about one and half hours in Rudd's mansion.

Zhou left Canberra on Sunday morning, concluding his five-day Australia trip.

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