President Xi Jinping has called for increased economic and strategic cooperation with Australia, suggesting continued enthusiasm for a free trade agreement between the two nations.
As he met visiting Governor-General of Australia Quentin Bryce in Beijing on Thursday, Xi said the two nations should fully explore the potential in Sino-Australian cooperation.
Xi's comments come in the wake of Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott's comments earlier this month, expressing hope that a free trade agreement between the two countries could be concluded soon.
Stressing the rapid development of bilateral ties and the establishment of a strategic partnership, Xi said the common interests of the two countries continue to expand against a backdrop of profound and complex changes in the international situation.
From a strategic and long-term perspective, Xi said, the two sides should create a new phase of Sino-Australian cooperation, built on a solid basis of mutual trust, reciprocity and the win-win principle.
The two countries should develop and diversify cooperation on energy resources, infrastructure, financial services, environmental protection, clean energy, biomedicine and other emerging industries, Xi said.
After meeting with Xi, Bryce also met Premier Li Keqiang.