Chinese Premier Li Keqiang (R) and Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull hold talks in Canberra, Australia, March 23, 2017. (Xinhua/Pang Xinglei)
CANBERRA, March 23 (Xinhua) -- China will open up wider to the outside world and work with Australia for greater development of bilateral economic and trade relations, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang said here Thursday.
It will send a positive signal to the whole world that both sides will back trade and investment liberalization and maintain the current global trading system, Li said in talks with his Australian counterpart Malcolm Turnbull.
Li arrived in Canberra Wednesday night for his first official visit to the Oceanian country since he took office in 2013.
During his five-day stay, Li and Turnbull will hold the fifth annual meeting of the two prime ministers. They will also attend a forum on China-Australia economic and trade cooperation.
Noting the rising trend of protectionism, Li said that faced with various global challenges, China is willing to work with Australia and others to maintain the peace and stability of the Asia-Pacific region and the world.
Over the past 45 years of diplomatic ties, China and Australia have embraced a deepening friendship and witnessed great achievements across a number of fields, he said.
China and Australia will continue to respect each other's core interests and major concerns in the spirit of equality, Li noted, adding that the two sides will work together to cement political trust, strengthen strategic communication and upgrade pragmatic cooperation, so as to maintain the sound and stable development of bilateral relations.
For his part, Turnbull hailed the close ties and cooperation and frequent high-level communications between China and Australia.
He said that Australia will deepen mutual trust with China and maintain the good momentum of bilateral ties.
Promoting global free trade will lead to higher employment and economic growth, Turnbull said.
Ahead of the two leaders' meeting, Turnbull held a welcome ceremony for Premier Li at the square of the Parliament House.
Li's wife Cheng Hong and Turnbull's wife Lucy also attended the ceremony.