President Hu Attends APEC Summit in Sydney

September 6, 2007 - by Robin Teow

Chinese President Hu Jintao arrived in Australia on Monday for a seven-day state visit before heading to the 15th economic leaders' informal meeting of Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation this coming weekend.

This year marks the 35th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties between China and Australia.

In recent years, cooperation between the two countries has been expanding steadily, particularly in mining, infrastructure, energy and environmental protection.

China is now the second largest trading partner of Australia, while Australia is China's ninth. In 2006, bilateral trade amounted to US$32.9 billion, up 20 percent from the previous year.

In the first half of 2007, bilateral trade reached 19.5 billion dollars, a 35 percent increase over the corresponding period of 2006.

APEC is the premier forum for facilitating economic growth, cooperation, trade and investment in the Asia-Pacific region.

Since its inception in 1989, APEC has grown to encompass 21 members spanning four continents, and represents about 40 percent of the world's population, 56 percent of global GDP and 48 percent of world trade.

APEC members include Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, China, China's Hong Kong, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Peru, the Philippines, Russia, Singapore, South Korea, Chinese Taipei, Thailand, the United States and Vietnam.

Security around the city is tightening up as senior officials from Pacific Rim nations began meetings to prepare for a summit of regional leaders that will tackle trade and global warming.

Parts of Sydney began to resemble a besieged camp, with police erecting a 10-feet-tall security fence, dubbed by local media the Great Wall of APEC near the summit site. The 5km fence will isolate the leaders, who include US President George W Bush and Russian President Vladimir Putin, in the Sydney Opera House and surrounding hotels.

While Australian security officials say they have received no intelligence of a terrorist threat to Apec, they have launched the country's biggest ever security operation.

The Australian government has spent A$169 million ($199m) in the past six years preparing Apec security.

Many Sydney residents have vented their frustration against Apec security, claiming it will turn Sydney's inner city into a fortress, with people asked for IDs and bag searches.

The city's underground railway network will be closed during the Apec weekend and motorists have been warned to stay out of the city as many roads will be closed.

4 Comment

  • 1. ryan beers  |  September 6, 2007, 3:57 pm

    All of the Chinese leaders visit Western Australia, the State of Aust with most mineral wealth and primary resources. Chinese growth has helped this state become the big mover in recent years. I would argue that residents in WA, and in particular those around inner towns and regions have benefitted more from China growth than perhaps anywhere else in world (maybe even more than the chinese themselves haha).

  • 2. Susan Li  |  September 7, 2007, 10:45 am

    the world is now marked by continuously changing situations of a profound and complicated nature!

  • 3.iris  |  September 7, 2007, 1:22 pm

    wish the APEC summit a complete success!

  • 4. Winnie  |  September 7, 2007, 2:16 pm

    To advance toward a higher or better stage

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