China's development key to Australia: observer

Updated 2018-03-02 14:41:03 Xinhua

China's economic growth is important for Australia as the Asian nation's annual sessions of top legislative and political advisory bodies are coming, said an Australian observer.[Special coverage]

"We will be looking for signs that economic reform in China remains on track because frankly as long as China is growing robustly, it's very good for the Australian economy," said James Laurenceson, a professor of economics and deputy director of the Australia-China Relations Institute at the University of Technology Sydney, told Xinhua.

"Over the last 40 years China has lifted 850 million people out of poverty," said Laurenceson, adding: "That's extraordinary, but in looking forward, the OECD (the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development) expects that 850 million more Chinese will also reach middle class status."

China had lifted 700 million people out of poverty through more than 30 years of reform and opening-up, according to a white paper released by the Chinese government in December 2016.

The impressive statistics is also great news for Aussies, he noted.

In fact, last year, exports to China rose a whopping 22 percent, bolstering Australia's gross domestic product significantly.

On the Belt and Road Initiative, he believes it will be a key topic at the coming meetings.

"I think we are going to continue to see a ramping up of this initiative (at the meeting)," Laurenceson said.

"It's not going to get smaller, the Belt and Road will become more important for China and more of a focus of its foreign policy," he added.

"My own view on the Belt and Road is that it makes pretty good economic sense, so from a country like Australia, our perspective, I think we should be involved."

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