China's biggest publishing company, Phoenix Publishing and Media group officially launched its Australian branch in Melbourne.
At a ceremony organized by Australia China Business Council on Wednesday, hundreds of Australian political figures, business leaders and scholars hailed the set up of the new branch and expressed keeness to enhance culture and education exchanges with China.
Speaker of the Victoria Parliament Ken Smith said that he is very glad the group chose Melbourne as its base in Australia.
"They just opened another base in London last year, it's a fantastic achievement for Victoria, being recognized by China's biggest publishing champion to base here, for that I'm extremely pleased," Smith said.
Song Yumin, the Consul-General of China in Melbourne, also highly supported the new office of Phoenix Publishing and Media group in Australia.
"Melbourne is the capital of art and culture. It's well known for its media groups, museums, art galleries and Melbourne festivals, the development of China's culture industry needs to cooperate with the rest of the world," he told Xinhua.
Chinese President Xi Jinping's meeting with Australian Governor- General Quentin Bryce last week injected fresh vitality for Sino- Australia relations, and now the opportunities are great for bilateral industries, said Song.
Professor Rachel Fensham, head of the School of Culture and Communication in the University of Melbourne, told Xinhua that her school has a very good learning atmosphere, and they would like to have closer educational and cultural exchanges with China.
Some Australians also expressed hope for closer connections with China.
"The iron ore trade with China is quite important, however only closer mentality exchange in the culture sector can truly bring us together," said one Australian journalist, whose comments drew a warm applause.