by Levi J Parsons
SYDNEY, March. 24 (Xinhua) -- The ongoing visit of Chinese Premier Li Keqiang to Australia comes at a time when the two countries celebrate 45 years of diplomatic relations.
In a column for The Australian newspaper, Li said: "Advance is a key word in both the Chinese and Australian national anthems."
"I am fully confident that China and Australia will continue to move forward in our own way while working with each other, and jointly help to counter global instability with the stability that is created through our steady development and cooperation."
The premier noted that over the past 45 years, Australia and China have risen above their differences, "gradually built up trust and properly managed disagreements in the spirit of equality and mutual respect."
Similarly, Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull wrote an article in the Australian Financial Review that shared the sentiments of the visiting Chinese leader, saying "Australia's ties with China have never been more important or dynamic than they are today."
"The relationship enriches both nations, improving the lives of our people and we could not imagine modern Australia, the most successful multicultural society in the world, without the extraordinary contribution of Chinese Australians to our Australian families."
As Australia's largest trading partner, the significance of bilateral relationship can not be understated, with Turnbull adding that China has directly aided Australia's prosperity by "supporting the jobs and growth agenda that is at the heart of my government," he said.
"The natural one to gravitate to is the free trade agreement at the end of 2015, because that is producing tangible gains for Australia-China trade," James Laurenceson, deputy director of the Australia-China Relations Institute at the University of Technology Sydney, told Xinhua.
For Laurie Pearcey, director of the Confucius Institute at the University of New South Wales, Australia, it is vital to remember Gough Whitlam.
"The first Prime Minister that officially recognized the People's Republic of China and established the framework for the Australia-China bilateral relationship," he told Xinhua.
Australia and China established diplomatic relations on December 21, 1972.
Since then the two countries have continued to cooperate and grow together, with around 30 percent of Australia's exports going to China.
Pearcey feels this cooperation will lay the foundation to tackle future challenges that lie ahead.
"China's economy is in transition. So both of our economies are adjusting to our own new normals. Through our own new normals we are forging a new shared partnership," he said.
"And that is all about innovation, research, people to people ties, it's about a new era of cooperation between our governments," Pearcey said.