Chinese Premier Li Keqiang in Australia for four-day visit

Feng Xue
By Feng Xue
March 23, 2017China News

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang and his wife Cheng Hong received a ceremonial welcome on Thursday, March 23, at Australia’s Parliament House in Canberra.

Li, the first sitting Chinese premier to visit Australia in 11 years, was welcomed by Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and his wife Lucy, as well as a 19-gun artillery salute.

In the Great Hall, Premier Li Keqiang expressed China’s hope for peace and cooperation between the two countries to further increase free-trade in the region, particularly in the services sector as China’s middle class continues to grow. “We believe that to resolve trade imbalance, we need to continue to expand trade—that is the solution,” Li said.

Li may raise the topic of China’s extradition agreement with Australia, as China seeks to bring home corrupt officials and princelings hiding overseas as part of Xi Jinping’s long running anti-corruption campaign.

While in Australia, Li will also travel to Sydney where he will meet Australian business leaders at various forums on trade, economy and business.

He will also attend an Australian Rules Football League (AFL) match before heading to New Zealand for two days.

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said Australia is seizing the opportunity to provide Australian food, beverages, consumer goods and high-end services that China’s growing middle class demands and trusts for its superior quality.

Australia will seek to take advantage of China’s decision earlier this week to suspend meat imports from Brazil, the world’s biggest exporter of beef and poultry, due to a scandal over sales of rotten and salmonella-tainted meats.

Beef is among Australian agriculture exports to China that were worth more than A$8 billion (US$6.14 billion) last year. They have been propelled by the wide-ranging China-Australia Free Trade Agreement signed in 2015, cementing China’s position as Australia’s largest trading partner.


ntd newsletter icon
Sign up for NTD Daily
What you need to know, summarized in one email.
Stay informed with accurate news you can trust.
By registering for the newsletter, you agree to the Privacy Policy.