Chinese premier pledges to join Australia in promoting economic globalization

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang addresses a welcome luncheon held by Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull in Canberra, Australia, March 23, 2017. (Xinhua/Zhang Duo)

CANBERRA, March 23 (Xinhua) -- Chinese Premier Li Keqiang on Thursday pledged to work with Australia in demonstrating the two nations' determination to safeguard trade liberalization and to promote economic globalization.

"I come here first for pushing free trade," Li told more than 400 lawmakers, businessmen, people from different walks of life and foreign diplomats at a luncheon hosted by his Australian counterpart Malcolm Turnbull in the Parliament House in Canberra.

Li arrived in the Australian capital on Wednesday night for a five-day visit to the country.

Also on Thursday, he held talks with Turnbull, and met with Governor-General Peter Cosgrove, Senate President Stephen Parry, Speaker of the House of Representatives Tony Smith and Bill Shorten, leader of Australian opposition Labor Party.

With the historic trend of economic globalization, opportunities need to be seized to promote development and to fix problems emerging from the process of development, he said.

"We are willing to strengthen cooperation with Australia and jointly show the region and the world our resolve in pushing trade liberalization and economic globalization," said the Chinese premier.

Li also said China will unswervingly stick to the path of peaceful development and is willing to work with Australia and other relevant countries to maintain regional peace and stability and promote common prosperity.

"Deepening cooperation must be based on mutual respect," said Li, adding that China always adheres to an independent foreign policy of peace as well as a development path that befits its own national conditions.

China respects Australia' s choice of foreign policy, and the two sides should jointly push forward agendas that are in line with the UN Charter and widely-recognized international norms, said Li in his speech.

He also called on the two sides to solve problems according to established norms and consensus in economic, political and other aspects.

"We are willing to join Australia in promoting harmonious co-existence of different civilizations and strengthen people-to-people exchanges and cooperation in such fields as education, tourism and sports, to create a broader landscape for China-Australian relations," said Li.

Li and Turnbull will hold the fifth annual meeting of the two prime ministers on Friday. They will also attend a forum on China-Australia economic and trade cooperation in Sydney.

Following his Australian tour, the Chinese premier will also pay an official visit to New Zealand. Li's visits to the two Oceanian countries are the first by a Chinese premier in 11 years.

Source: Xinhua