The Chinese and Australian national flags in Sydney, Australia. (Photo/Xinhua)
China-Australia economic and trade relations now have scope for improvement, so the two countries should strengthen their cooperation, China's Ministry of Commerce said on Thursday.
"China and Australia are important economic and trade cooperation partners with highly complementary economic structures and mutually beneficial bilateral economic and trade cooperation," said Shu Jueting, spokeswoman of the ministry, at a media conference.
As for coal imports, China implements automatic licensing management, which means enterprises decide to purchase and import coal based on factors like their own production needs, technological changes, domestic and international market conditions. Whether or not enterprises import coal is determined by commercial considerations, she said.
She disclosed that working teams from the two countries have been communicating on arranging a visit to China by Australian Minister for Trade Don Farrell.
During the talks between the two countries' trade/commerce ministers in a previous meeting, the two sides had professional, practical and candid exchanges on how to properly handle each other's key economic and trade concerns, including exchanging views on WTO cases, she said.
"China is willing to communicate with Australia on technical issues regarding respective concerns in bilateral trade and seek win-win solutions," she said.
Goods trade between China and Australia exceeded $220 billion in 2022. Shu said given such large-scale trade, some concerns are inevitable, which can be solved through dialogue, communication and pursuit of win-win solutions. "China has always opposed the wrong practice of generalizing the concept of national security, politicizing economic issues, and discriminating against and containing Chinese enterprises," Shu said.
"We hope that Australia will meet China halfway and provide a fair, open and nondiscriminatory business environment for Chinese enterprises to conduct trade and investment in Australia," she said.
According to Zhang Yansheng, chief researcher at the China Center for International Economic Exchanges, closer bilateral relations between China and Australia will benefit both countries as well as regional economic integration.
"It is wise to place emphasis more on economics than politics to expand common interests," he said.