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Australian FM says ambassador to Beijing not rushed back

AUSTRALIAN Foreign Minister Stephen Smith today denied the report that Australia's ambassador to Beijing was rushed back to Canberra to attend crisis meetings.
Local reports said today that Ambassador Geoff Raby hastily canceled media engagements in Beijing to fly to Canberra yesterday, amid one official's explanation that a series of emergency meetings had been scheduled.
"He hasn't been rushed back to Canberra, he comes back on a regular basis," Smith told ABC Radio this morning.
Raby was scheduled to meet with ministers, including Trade Minister Simon Crean while in Canberra, similar to conferences he'd had over the past two years.
Smith also said he preferred to look at the big picture when it came to its relationship with China.
Smith admitted that tensions did exist between Australia and China, but the government was committed to its long-term relationship with Beijing.
"We take a long-term positive view of it. We will continue to deal with these difficulties, which is methodically, calmly and sensibly," he added.


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