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Australia and China need each other more than any other of their bilateral partners, according to Foreign Minister Kevin Rudd.
Speaking at an Australia-China forum yesterday Rudd stressed the importance of China.
He said Australia was shifting its economic focus from “the old world” following Europe’s sovereign debt crisis.
“We have more at stake in China – and China has more at stake in Australia – than either country has with many other partners,” he said.
Rudd said trade and investment between Australia and China was growing, and it was important for both countries the figure continued to rise.
“China is looking to Australia to secure its future growth, just as countries around the world look to China to secure theirs,” he said.
Rudd’s comments came as Chinese state-owned miner Shenhuo announced it had pulled out of coal exploration in Queensland.
Local conservation groups marked the exit as a win, and said the company’s exploration permit covered good farmland and developing a mine would be a “disaster”.
But this morning Rudd’s comments on China were overshadowed by reports in News Ltd publications he was gathering numbers to challenge Prime Minister Julia Gillard’s leadership.
Gillard brushed off the suggestions, speaking to CNN this morning on the sidelines of the G20 Summit in France.
Rudd also denied the allegations and said he was very happy as foreign minister of Australia.