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Swan optimistic on China despite challenges
Swan optimistic on China despite challenges

Treasurer Wayne Swan expects a change of leadership in China will bring both new challenges and opportunities over the next six months.

But he told a conference in Canberra regardless of who is at the helm, China and Australia will "remain intertwined".

China's Vice President Xi Jinping is expected to be promoted to president at a Communist Party congress in November as incumbent Hu Jintao steps down.

Mr Swan told the 2012 China Advanced Leadership Program conference strong relationships have been formed between the leaders of its two countries.

"We will continue to build and strengthen these relationships so we can manage the transitions that come with a close and evolving partnership," Mr Swan said.

He said the leadership transition comes at a time when enormous shifts are also taking place in the economic and social fabric of the Chinese nation.

"As we forge further ahead into the 21st century, China's transformations - its urbanisation, its extraordinary mega-cities, the growing middle class - are not just a sign of progress, they also symbolise China's return to pre-eminence in the global economy," he said.

"The immense scale and pace of China's transformation, along with the rise of other countries in the region, is going to see Asia achieve some incredible milestones in the years ahead."

The Australian government released its so-called Asian Century white paper on Sunday, which sets out how Australia can increase integration with Asia over the coming decade and beyond.

"The white paper aims to emulate some of the foresight of Chinese and Australian leaders past, recognising that Australia's future will be very much affected by our region and spelling out a set of pathways that will enable us to face its challenges and opportunities," Mr Swan said.

The shape of the Asian century is not set in stone and there may well be "challenges or setbacks along the way", he said.

"But both our nations start from a position of strength and we have good reasons to be optimistic," he said.

"To succeed in the Asian century requires us to continue to show forward-thinking and committed leadership."