Li urges early implementation of China-Australia FTA

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Chinese Premier Li Keqiang (4th R) meets with Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull (3rd L) on the sidelines of a series of regional summits in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Nov. 21, 2015. [Huang Jingwen/Xinhua]

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang said in Kuala Lumpur Saturday that his country is ready to work with Australia to put their free trade agreement (FTA) into effect as soon as possible before the end of the year.

In a meeting with his Australian counterpart, Malcolm Turnbull, on the sidelines of a series of East Asian leaders' meetings, Li also called on the two countries to raise the level of mutual investment.

China welcomes more Australian companies to invest and develop in China and hopes that Australia will provide more conveniences for Chinese investors, Li said.

Noting that China and Australia are both major countries in the Asian-Pacific region and important cooperation partners of each other, Li said deepening bilateral cooperation serves the fundamental interests of both nations and contributes to regional peace, stability and prosperity.

China, under the new circumstances, is ready to work with Australia to cement political mutual trust, expand win-win cooperation and properly deal with differences, so as to lift bilateral ties to a new height, he added.

Li called on the two countries to draw on their advantages to carry out production capacity cooperation in such areas as energy and resources, infrastructure, manufacturing and maritime affairs.

Meanwhile, they should join hands to explore third-party markets and expand bilateral cooperation into more areas, he suggested.

He also called for concerted efforts to broaden cultural exchanges, further lift the scale of implementation of Australia's New Colombo Plan in China, deepen exchanges and practical cooperation at local levels, and roll out more measures to facilitate people-to-people exchanges.

On China's economy, Li said his country will continue to push forward structural reform and adjustment and foster new momentum for growth, so as to realize sustained, stable and healthy economic development.

China will also open its door wider to the outside world, which will unleash fresh opportunities for bilateral cooperation, Li said.

Turnbull, for his part, said Beijing's efforts to advance reform, stimulate social vitality, integrate into the world economy and develop green economy will help promote global development.

Australia, he said, is ready to work with China to further increase mutual understanding and strengthen cooperation in various areas so as to lift bilateral ties to a higher level and bring concrete benefits to the two peoples.

The two sides also compared notes on climate change and other issues of common concern.

The Chinese premier arrived in Malaysia on Friday for the 18th ASEAN-China (10+1) leaders' meeting, the 18th ASEAN-China, Japan and South Korea (10+3) leaders' meeting and the 10th East Asia Summit.

During his four-day stay in Malaysia, he is also to pay his first official visit to the country since taking office in March 2013.

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