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Australian PM, Chinese ambassador call for mutual trust at key business summit
Last Updated: 2018-06-20 00:29 | Xinhua
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Both Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and Chinese Ambassador Cheng Jingye said on Tuesday that it was time to put aside any mistrust in bilateral relationship and work toward a more respectful and constructive accord.

Turnbull, Cheng and Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop were among the speakers at the annual Australia China Business Council meeting, held in the Parliament House.

The summit, which was aimed at promoting trade between the two nations, came at a difficult time in relations between Canberra and Beijing - partly caused by the Australian government's crackdown on the so-called foreign interference.

Turnbull said the Australian media had sometimes overstated the tensions in the Australia-China relationship and he remained confident that the ties between the two countries would remain strong despite occasional and inevitable disagreements.

"From time to time, there will be differences, and in terms of issues, particular issues, but the important thing is, we deal with them, as friends," the premier said at the parliament on Tuesday.

"Mutual respect is the absolute key. That is what we undertake and I know that is what characterizes our relationship.

"I am filled with optimism about the relationship, I think we should all be positive about it and recognize the strengths of the engagement and also note that sometimes in the media, there is always going to be, an emphasis on differences, on conflict, on problems. Overwhelmingly the relationship is strong and by any measure, getting stronger," he said.

Ambassador Cheng said Australia and China should look to build mutual trust in order to eliminate the current "Cold War mentality."

"The development of our bilateral relations has not always been smooth. Sometimes, there will be clouds, even rain and wind," Cheng said.

"It is my belief that in order to disperse the clouds and achieve sustained and sound development in our bilateral relations, the two countries need to have more interaction and inclusiveness, with less bias and bigotry."

The ambassador noted that China and Australia had many shared interests and the potential for future cooperation was huge, including trading services. Both countries stood for free trade and an open economy.

"China never interferes in the internal affairs of other countries, let alone carry out infiltration of other countries. China's idea is to carry out equal cooperation with all countries, including Australia, to achieve mutual benefit and win-win outcomes."

Foreign Minister Bishop in her speech said Australia and China shared a "comprehensive strategic partnership."

"No two countries agree on every single aspect of foreign policy. It's how we manage those differences that counts," she said.

"We're working closely with China on the international economic order."

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