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Premier Li and Australian PM meet the press

Updated: Mar 24,2017 5:45 PM

Premier Li Keqiang and Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull met the press and answered questions from reporters after their fifth annual prime ministers meeting on March 24.

The two prime ministers said extensive, deep and sincere communications have been conducted between the two sides concerning China-Australia relations and cooperation, and reached consensus on making joint efforts to explore broader prospects for bilateral cooperation.

Premier Li said that at present, there are some uncertainties in the world, thus China and Australia should jointly protect free trade and safeguard regional stability and world peace.

“The two sides should actively examine the implementation of the China–Australia Free Trade Agreement, to provide support for expanding trade and investment facilitation and usher in a new era for comprehensive free trade on both sides,” the Premier stressed.

China and Australia should also strengthen cooperation in education and culture, to promote cultural diversity of the world and mutual exchanges of civilization, the Premier added.

While taking questions from the media, Premier Li stressed that China adheres to an independent foreign policy of peace and it respects Australia’s choices in foreign policy. China maintains that all countries, regardless of size, are equal and sticks to the principles of mutual respect and equality. China will always be open and inclusive when developing relations with other countries. China-Australia relations are not directed against any third party, and both sides hoped that the diplomatic relationship would not only benefit China and Australia but also be conducive to the peace and stability of other countries and regions.

Turnbull welcomed Premier Li visiting Australia on the 45th anniversary of diplomatic relations between the two countries. He said he held fruitful talks with Premier Li and the two sides looked back on the achievements of the diplomatic relations over the past 45 years. China and Australia have broad common interests and have been steadily expanding the scope of cooperation.

Turnbull said that implementation of China-Australia free trade agreement brought tangible benefits to both countries. Australia greatly appreciates China’s long historic traditions and development and attaches great importance to its diplomatic ties with China. He added that Australia will strengthen cooperation with China in various fields, such as innovation, energy, agriculture, modern service industry and law enforcement.