UNITED NATIONS, Sept. 24 (Xinhua) -- Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi and Australian Foreign Minister Marise Payne pledged on Tuesday to strengthen bilateral ties on the basis of mutual respect and trust.
China has noticed some positive remarks the Australian side has recently made on its China policy, Wang said while meeting with Payne on the sidelines of the 74th session of the UN General Assembly.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison, in particular, has stated publicly that China is a partner rather than a threat, Australia attaches great importance to China, and the comprehensive strategic partnership with China is crucial to Australia, Wang noted.
Australia's ties with China are far more than just "a customer relationship," and such a clarification is quite necessary, Wang said.
The sound development of China-Australia relations totally serves the interests of both countries and is conducive to regional peace and stability, Wang said.
He voiced the hope that Australia will properly handle China-related sensitive issues in a constructive manner, and, in particular, adopt the right stance on issues concerning China's sovereignty, security and development interests.
Wang called for joint efforts to boost the healthy and stable development of bilateral relations on the basis of mutual respect.
Congratulating on the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China, Payne, for her part, said that Australia welcomes China's development.
China's growth over the past decades has not only lifted hundreds of millions of Chinese people out of poverty, but also contributed to the stability of the international system, Payne noted.
Emphasizing the significance of developing the comprehensive strategic partnership with China, Payne said that there are far more opportunities than differences in bilateral ties.
Australia hopes to enhance communication with China, promote mutual understanding and trust, seek to expand cooperation, properly manage differences and develop an even closer relationship, she added.