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Chinese president leaves Salzburg for G20 summit in Cannes

By : Xinhua|Updated: 2011-11-02

SALZBURG, Austria, Nov. 2 (Xinhua) -- Chinese President Hu Jintao concluded his state visit to Austria and left Salzburg for Cannes, France, Wednesday for a Group of 20 (G20) summit.

Hu began his visit to Austria on Sunday. He became the first Chinese head of state to visit Austria in 12 years.

On Monday, Hu held talks with his Austrian counterpart, Heinz Fischer, and met Chancellor Werner Faymann and National Council President Barbara Prammer.

In his talks with Fischer, Hu spoke highly of the ties between the two countries, saying that China values its relations with Austria and is willing to join hands with Austria to elevate bilateral ties to a higher level.

The Chinese leader proposed that the two sides enhance their political relationship based on equality and mutual trust, continue with their frequent high-level contacts and steer bilateral relations from a strategic and long-term perspective.

The two countries should also expand their mutually beneficial economic and trade relations, he said, while calling for concerted efforts to fight trade protectionism and encourage mutual investment so as to achieve a balanced, diversified and sustainable trade relationship.

Hu urged Vienna to play a more active role in pushing for the EU's recognition of China's full market economy status and for a lift of the bloc's restrictions on high-tech exports to China.

In the culture sphere, the two sides should promote people-to-people exchanges and boost cultural and educational cooperation, Hu said.

In addition, the two countries should also deepen cooperation in multilateral mechanisms to jointly push for a more just and fairer international political and economic order, Hu said.

Fischer, for his part, said that he fully agreed with Hu's proposal, adding that his country is willing to enhance cooperation with China in culture, science and technology and tourism and expand coordination in the United Nations and other international frameworks.

Austria will play an active role in seeking the EU's recognition of China's full market economy status, Fischer said.

After their talks, Hu and Fischer witnessed the signing of a host of cooperation documents by representatives of the two sides, covering economics and trade, environmental protection, water conservancy, education and culture.

From Vienna, Hu traveled to Salzburg Monday evening to continue his visit. Hu toured a family farm near Salzburg, visited Wolfgang Mozart's resident, and met local officials.

This year marks the 40th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties between China and Austria.

Over the past 40 years, China-Austria relations have developed continuously with frequent exchanges of high-level visits, increase in bilateral trade, and more visitors traveling to each other's country.

China became Austria's biggest trading partner outside Europe in 2010, when their two-way trade rose to 6 billion U.S. dollars, marking a 26 percent increase over the previous year.

Last year, about 200,000 Chinese tourists visited Austria, while some 80,000 Austrians traveled to China.