During his visit to Australia from March 22 to 26, Premier Li Keqiang and Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull exchanged views on various topics, including free trade, regional peace and stability, and bilateral cooperation.
Promoting free trade
China will work with Australia to make greater achievements in bilateral trade, Premier Li said while meeting with Turnbull on March 24.
In fact, free trade was a key phrase in Premier Li’s exchange with his Australian counterpart on this trip.
“I have come for free trade. In front of the tide of economic globalization, we need to seize the opportunity to speed up development and solve problems,” he said at a luncheon held by the Australian prime minister on March 23.
“We are ready to enhance cooperation with Australia and demonstrate to the region and the world our determination to uphold free trade and economic globalization,” he said.
He also said both sides should review the existing free trade agreement, discuss free trade in service and investment sectors, and stand against protectionism.
Regional peace and stability
“I also come to promote regional peace and stability,” Premier Li said at the luncheon on March 23.
“China will take the approach of peaceful development. It is not only in respect to China’s tradition, but also a requirement for our current and future benefits. China needs peace in development, and will never seek hegemony in the future.”
“China is willing to work with Australia and other countries to maintain peace and stability in the region and promote mutual prosperity,” he said.
No taking sides
The China-Australia relationship “does not target any third party” and “there should be no such issue as taking sides” as Australia develops its ties with China and the United States, Premier Li said at a joint news conference with Turnbull on March 24.
“We hope that relationships among the countries concerned will be conducive to free trade as well as stability and peace in the region and the world.”
“China respects the diplomatic policies adopted by Australia based on its own national conditions, and holds an open and inclusive mind when developing relations with various countries,” he said.
Longstanding reliable partners
Turnbull said, “Australia and China are longstanding and reliable partners with highly complementary economies,” during the talk with Premier Li on March 24.
“Our free trade agreement provides a foundation for a strong and growing economic relationship. It provides growth for large and small businesses, and offers great opportunities for the people of both nations.”
“We will continue to work closely with you and other nations, to deepen economic integration in the region,” he said.