Li Peng, chairman of the National People's Congress, made a visit to Australia in September, underlining the growing trades ties between the two countries, South China Morning Post said. The visit celebrated the 30th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Australia and the PRC, and came a few weeks after the signing of a deal under which China will buy up to US$13.6bn-worth of natural gas from Australia's Northwest Shelf.
On his visit, Li addressed a meeting of 25 business executives from Australia's mining, finance, tourism and telecoms sectors. He also inspected the traffic management system installed in Sydney for the 2000 Olympics. The visit to Australia was the conclusion of a regional tour that also included Indonesia, Thailand and the Philippines.