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Foreign minister tells truth about China

Foreign minister tells truth about China article image
Australia's relationship with China has to be realistic considering it's between a democracy and a communist nation, said Minister for Foreign Affairs Stephen Smith last night in an address to the Australian National University's China Institute. "Australia is clear-eyed, not starry-eyed, in its assessment of China and its view of the bilateral relationship," he said. "We recognise the significant economic and social progress that has been made in China on many fronts, and look forward to its continuation." High profile events, such as the arrest of Rio Tinto executive Stern Hu on charges of commercial conspiracy and Uighur leader Rebiya Kadeer's Australian visit, have tested the relationship throughout the year but Smith believes these incidents are small compared to the scale of the overall bilateral connection. "We have been going through some tense times but we're confident that we're now effectively back to business as usual," he said. Smith went so far as to specifically welcome foreign direct investment from China, citing that 96 percent of investment proposal had been approved since 2007: "Despite a contrary view sometimes being expressed in Australia, the facts tell a very positive story about Australia's welcoming policy and posture towards investment from China."

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