Australia and China reach agreements aimed at increasing trade

World Today

Li Keqiang,Malcolm TurnbullChinese Premier Li Keqiang, left, and Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull clap during a signing ceremony in Canberra, Friday, March 24, 2017. Prime Minister Turnbull and Premier Li oversaw the signing of bilateral agreements that will expand their two-year-old free trade pact. (Mick Tsikas/AAP Image via AP)

Deals were announced by Australia and China during meetings between Premier Li Keqiang and Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull in Australia.

CGTN’s Greg Navarro reports.

Australia and China reach agreements aimed at increasing trade

Deals were announced by Australia and China during meetings between Premier Li Keqiang and Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull in Australia. CGTN's Greg Navarro reports.

The elaborate welcome for Chinese Premier Li Keqiang in Australia’s capital underscored the importance of the trip – complete with a military salute.

After greeting federal politicians,and one of the country’s iconic symbols, the Premier and Australian Prime Minister got down to work.

“Our relations have never been more important and dynamic and as we were discussing a lunch yesterday, a comprehensive strategic partnership captures a shared commitment to greater prosperity and security,” Malcolm Turnbull, the Australian Prime Minister said.

“We should expand free trade to more sectors. Promoting investment facilitation will deepen and solidify our relationship, and also bring broader prospects to it,” Li Keqiang, the Chinese Premier said.

The bilateral agreements included accelerating the next stage of the China-Australia Free Trade Agreement, and a memorandum of understanding surrounding multi-billion dollar mine, rail, and port project.

There are many winners in Australia as a result of those bilateral agreements, including Australian beef producers who will enjoy the kind of access to China’s markets they’ve never seen before.

“The finalized major agreements on agriculture include a meat export package which expands chilled meat access from 11 exporters to all eligible Australian exporters,” Turnbull said.

The leaders also discussed a range of topics including the uncertainty surrounding U.S. President Donald Trump, working toward a regional trade deal, and regional security.

The Premier also addressed the issue of the South China Sea

“Maintaining peace and stability of the South China Sea, safeguarding the freedom of navigation and overflight in the South China Sea are something that all nations in the region should be concerned about and effort to achieve,” Li said.

While much of the Premier’s five day visit is focused on trade, the two leaders will take a break on Saturday to attend an Australian Rules football game in Sydney, before the Premier leaves for New Zealand on Sunday.