Premier Li Keqiang and his wife Cheng Hong meet with Governor-General of Australia Peter Cosgrove and his wife in Canberra, introducing them to a seven-month-old kangaroo, one of the country’s most recognized animals on March 23. [Photo/Xinhua]
Premier Li Keqiang and his wife Cheng Hong were shown a seven-month-old kangaroo, one of Australia’s most recognized animals, during a meeting with Governor-General of Australia Peter Cosgrove and his wife in Canberra on March 23.
According to an article of Premier Li published by Australian media, he said the kangaroo, a native Australian species that doesn’t like moving backward but only forward, symbolizes a dynamic country that always moves forward in progress.
Local media spoke highly of Premier Li’s visit, saying it will push the bilateral ties between China and Australia forward.
The Australian pointed out that amid global uncertainties of economic outlook, Premier Li’s visit will bring more cooperative opportunities to conquer various obstacles on the path of development for both countries.
According to an article from the Australian Financial Review “Year of the Rooster lucky for the Kangaroo”, his visit is very important involving several aspects. He led a delegation composed of government officials and representatives from the areas of resources, consumption goods, food, alcohol, tourism and real estate. And his visit is expected to produce a series of pragmatic cooperative investment and trade deals.
It is also an opportunity for the two sides to solve technical issues of the Free Trade Agreement signed two years ago, according to The Australian.
It is unprecedented for the Premier of the world’s second largest economy with 1.3 billion consumers to visit a country for four to five days, a business representative said. It is a signal that China attaches great importance to its ties with Australia. The representative said the visit sent out a strong signal: The Year of the Rooster is lucky for the kangaroo.
The China-Australia economic and trade cooperation is under the global spotlight. The Australian Financial Review said Australia is the only member of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development which enjoys trade surplus with China. The Associated Press said China is Australia’s largest trade partner, with their trade volume exceeding $100 billion. Deutsche Presse-Agentur, a German news agency, commented that Australia enjoys a trade surplus of over $10 billion with China.
“Trade imbalances are resolved by expanding businesses, not vice versa,” reported by Deutsche Presse-Agentur, which also cited Premier Li’s impromptu speech at the welcome ceremony hosted by Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull. “Protectionism and voices against globalization are on the rise. We don’t deny problems in globalization, but such problems are not from globalization and free trade itself, but our methods to cope with them.”
Australian News Network also noted a detail, seeing that there was only chicken served instead of beef at the banquet. Premier Li humorously said that not tasting Australian beef won’t shake our determination to further open up.
It is widely said that on the occasion of the rise of US and European deglobalization and protectionism, it’s the right time for Premier Li to focus on trade cooperation and expansion during the visit.
“He will position China as a pioneer in anti-protectionism,” the Australian Broadcasting Corporation reported on March 23, saying that strengthening China-Australia relations will be the focus of Premier Li’s trip.
“This is a great opportunity for China to fill a strategic gap and become a winner in the Asia-Pacific region and the global free trade,” said an analyst from Australia’s think tank Lowy Institute.