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Australia's prime minister says the country can't take its trading relationship with China for granted in an increasingly competitive world as she prepared to lead a senior government delegation to Australia's biggest export market.
Julia Gillard said she would on Friday lead "the most senior Australian political delegation ever to visit China" only weeks after China's President Xi Jinping and Premier Li Keqiang took office. Her delegation includes Foreign Minister Bob Carr, Trade Minister Craig Emerson and Financial Services Minister Bill Shorten.
She told a Foreign Correspondents Association lunch in Sydney on Thursday: "The timing of this visit so soon after the new leadership has entered office is deliberate and reflects the importance of our rapidly evolving relationship with China and our high-level political oversight of that relationship."