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Premier Li turns banquet into a feast of words

Updated: Mar 28,2017 9:33 AM

Premier Li Keqiang received a welcome ceremony hosted by Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull in Canberra on March 23.

It was a simple lunch, composed of salad, roast chicken, and bread and desserts.

However, Premier Li addressed the banquet, during which he talked about chicken and beef, and then free trade and development of globalization, turning it into a “feast of words.”

Free trade, plus humor, is the Premier’s language, which can be understood by people all over the world.

“This is the most wonderful speech I have heard in recent years,” said a senior Australian official.

Praise also came from Australian opposition leader Bill Shorten, president of the Australian Senate Stephen Parry, and Speaker of the House of Representatives Tony Smith, who were among those in attendance. Premier Li’s speech “was full of humor and wisdom, we love it so much,” they said.

Australia pins high hopes on Premier Li’s visit, especially the export of frozen beef.

“Noting that the Australian media reported my visit with a headline ending ‘for beef market’, I checked with the waiter whether we are having beef today. The answer is no. Only chicken will be served,” said Premier Li.

“Naturally I have come here not just for beef or chicken, but for many more areas of exchanges and cooperation that we should pursue,” Premier Li continued. “First, I have come for free trade.”

With the anecdote, Premier Li highlighted the purpose of his visit to expand bilateral free trade and investment.

He pointed out that challenges arising from globalization, such as protectionism, should not be regarded as a side effect of free trade and globalization. Instead, international society should use it as a historic opportunity to solve them together with action and determination.

Although China’s trade deficit with Australia stood at nearly $50 billion, Premier Li pledged that China is ready to further expand bilateral FTA through lowering tariffs and expanding trade.

With humor, Premier Li turned a banquet into a feast of words.