Gillard embarks on Chinese trade mission

PRIME Minister Julia Gillard has left for a five-day visit to China to shore up ties with Australia's number one trading partner.

The Federal Government says the trip has been deliberately timed to coincide with the recent leadership change in the Asian powerhouse.

Ms Gillard will meet the new Chinese president, Xi Jinping, and premier Li Keqiang during her time on Hainan Island and in Shanghai and Beijing.

It will be Ms Gillard's second visit to China as prime minister, and the Federal Government says it is the most high-level delegation to ever visit the country.

Foreign Affairs Minister Bob Carr, Trade, Skills and Tertiary Education Minister Craig Emerson and Financial Services Minister Bill Shorten are also part of the delegation.

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