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Transcript of remarks at Annual Leaders' Talks with His Excellency Li Keqiang, Premier of the State Council of the People's Republic of China: Parliament House Canberra: 24 March 2017

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24 March 2017

Remarks at Annual Leaders’ Talks with His Excellency Li Keqiang, Premier of the State Council of the People’s Republic of China

Parliament House, Canberra



Welcome to Australia for your first visit as Premier of the State Council. We are very pleased to return your hospitality that you offered us last year in April when we met for the previous round of annual leaders’ talks.

I want to thank you for bringing such a distinguished delegation of central and provincial government leaders and senior business leaders as well. Our relations have never been more important or dynamic.

As we were discussing at the lunch yesterday, our Comprehensive Strategic Partnership captured a shared commitment to greater prosperity and security.

Australia and China are longstanding and reliable partners with highly complementary economies. We welcome and fully support your and President Xi’s calls for a renewed commitment to open markets and free trade. We will continue to work closely with you and other nations, to deepen the economic integration in our region.

Australia and China are great examples of how countries can benefit from this commitment. The Deputy Prime Minister of course was particularly pleased by the increase in market access for chilled beef, and we want to ensure you Premier, there will be beef on the menu tonight. I understand you were disappointed yesterday.


Of course, as part of the important cultural engagement you’re having here in Australia, when we go to the football, I hope that you’ll be able to taste one of our meat pies, which again will give you another opportunity to try Australian beef.

Our Free Trade Agreement provides a foundation for a strong and growing economic relationship. Of course, it enables us to make the case to the people in our respective nations, of how important trade is for jobs. It creates jobs and opportunities. It provides the growth in businesses large and small, that offers the people of China, the people of Australia, great opportunities in the future.

But it is only one part of the partnership.

Our relationship, as we’ll be discussing today, covers so many areas. Innovation, energy, education, tourism - this is the Australia-China Year of Tourism - and we are celebrating the very strong people-to-people links we talked about at lunch yesterday.

So I look forward to a very constructive discussion here this morning. We have a lot to discuss and we are delighted that you’re here, delighted to be here with your colleagues.

This is an opportunity for us to take a strong friendship, a strong partnership and make it stronger still.