CHINA'S new President, Xi Jinping, wants to visit Tasmania - and the state government will roll out the red carpet if he does.
Xi Jinping reportedly told Prime Minister Julia Gillard yesterday that Tasmania would be a priority for his next Australian trip as he had visited every other state.
Ms Gillard had her first official meeting with President Xi yesterday on the sidelines of the Boao Forum for Asia on the Chinese resort island of Hainan.
Premier Lara Giddings, who last year led a trade mission to China and has just announced the opening of a trade office in the Chinese city of Shanghai, last night welcomed President Xi's statement.
``It is a tremendous honour that President Xi Jinping sees it as a priority to visit Tasmania,'' she said.
``On his elevation to the presidency, I wrote to President Xi inviting him to Tasmania, having been made aware of his interest in seeing our state.
``Strengthening ties between China and Tasmania is a key to growing our economy and maximising opportunities in the largest jobs engine in the world.
``To have President Xi identify our state to visit is further evidence of the importance of our recently released Asian White Paper, which looks at how we can strengthen our economic, social and cultural ties with the Asian region, particularly China.''
The paper states that China's output was expected to eclipse that of all the G20 countries combined within the next 15 years.
Tourism Tasmania will next month lead a delegation of tourism operators on a 10-day trade mission to China.
A short-term response to the paper includes adding Asian language signs at airports and attractions.
Longer-term goals include developing an Asian education strategy and cultural awareness workshops and boosting business and skilled migration.