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China welcomes Australian PM's speech

Beijing said on Wednesday it hopes Canberra will take concrete measures to promote bilateral ties after Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull sent out positive messages concerning the relationship.

In a speech at the University of New South Wales on Tuesday, Turnbull praised collaboration between Australian and Chinese scientists in developing technologies and said Australia is "committed to working with China's leaders to advance our comprehensive strategic partnership".

"We welcome China's remarkable success, and we have embraced its many opportunities," Turnbull said. In the speech transcript posted on his official website, Turnbull adds that Australia hopes to work with China on Belt and Road Initiative projects.

China appreciates Turnbull's remarks, Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said.

The nations' healthy and stable development of bilateral ties is in line with the fundamental interests of their people and aids peace and prosperity of the region and the world, she said in an online statement.

"I hope Australia will continue to work with China, do more on the basis of mutual respect and equality to improve mutual trust and cooperation and promote the development of bilateral ties in the right track through actual deeds."

Turnbull's remarks came days after Chinese and Australian foreign ministers met on the sidelines of the Foreign Ministers' Meetings on East Asia Cooperation in Singapore.

China has never interfered with other countries' internal affairs and will never engage in so-called infiltration in other countries, State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi told his Australian counterpart Julie Bishop on Saturday in reference to accusations by Australian media reports.

Bishop said her country stands ready to take an objective view of China's development and Australia-China relations, and to further send a positive signal in this regard, according to a Foreign Ministry release.

The bilateral ties soured in December when Turnbull said his government took "very seriously" media reports that accused China of interfering in Australia's affairs. China voiced strong dissatisfaction over his remarks.

Zhou Fangyin, a professor at the Guangdong Institute for International Strategies, said Turnbull's speech marks a major turn in the Australian government's view toward China, and shows its willingness to improve bilateral ties.

The positive message in the speech is worth encouraging, as it helps create an atmosphere for more people in Australia to voice objective comments on China, Zhou said, adding that he hopes the Australian government will honor what was said in the speech.

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