Premier Li Keqiang said China paid high attention on provincial-level cooperation between China and Australia.
“Local cooperation is an integral part in China-Australia ties,” he said at the 2nd China-Australia Provincial/State Leaders Forum in Sydney on March 24.
Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, eight Chinese provincial governors, six Australian state premiers and representatives from two Australian territories also attended the forum.
Premier Li appreciated that local cooperation between the two countries has made achievements in the past years, with more than 100 cities becoming sister cities. It not only benefits and connects the people of two countries, but also benefits China-Australia ties.
The China-Australia free-trade agreement is providing new opportunities for the cooperation between local governments and companies of both countries, the Premier said. As China and Australia have vast territories, both sides can improve the layout of local cooperation. For example, China welcomes states of Australia to cooperate with China’s central and west regions and benefit from their development.
Premier Li hoped that both sides can expand cooperation and seek business opportunities from agriculture, science and technology, education, logistics and new industries.
He stressed that the basis of the China-Australia friendship is among the people at local levels.
This year marks the 45th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties between China and Australia, which is also the China-Australia Year of Tourism, said the Premier.
“I hope provinces and states from both countries will take this opportunity to strengthen cooperation and exchanges in sectors of education, culture, technology, tourism, youth, and media,” said the Premier, who also urged organizing more activities to consolidate bilateral friendship.
Turnbull said Australia and China have a long history of exchanges in various fields at local levels, which have brought benefits to the people from both sides, therefore the active participation of local regions is vital to the development of bilateral relations.
Australia and China are reliable partners facing with many new opportunities for cooperation, said Turnbull, who hoped the two countries can make joint efforts to continue to promote local exchanges and cooperation and make new contribution to the Asia Pacific Free Trade.
Premier Li left Canberra in the afternoon of March 24 for Sydney to continue his official visit of Australia. His wife, Cheng Hong, arrived on the same flight.