China and Australia to Foster Trade Liberalization

"China is the largest trader in the world so one can imagine how many interests are at stake", he said.

"It is an opportunity for China to rhetorically and symbolically look like it is building closer relations with Australia and the USA for the time being is on the outer", said Merriden Varrall, director oif the East Asia program at the Lowy Institute.

Li flies to New Zealand on Sunday to meet with Prime Minister Bill English.

In the new global reality that seems to be tilting towards protectionism and anti-globalization, China and Australia offer a flawless example of how free trade does not lead to tit-for-tat combat, but generates gains for both.

The economic importance of China, Australia's largest trade partner, seems to have grown after Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull's controversial phone call with US President Donald Trump that affected relations between the two countries.

The Government has signed a Joint Statement with China to deliver important market access for Australia's red meat and live animal export industries.

Foreign Minister Julie Bishop will miss Mr Li's visit because she's in Washington DC for a foreign ministers' meeting hosted by US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson on the fight against Islamic State extremists in the Middle East.

Mr Li's visit to Australia and New Zealand, which started late Wednesday, is the first by a Chinese prime minister in 11 years.

Li said China will now accept chilled beef exports from all licensed exporters.

The visit underscores Australia's and China's shared commitment to promoting greater prosperity and security in our region, including through deeper regional and bilateral trade and investment liberalisation.

"We stand ready to work with other countries to support economic globalization and free trade, improve the global governance system and facilitate progress of mankind", Li said in the article.

Steven Ciobo, Australia's Minister for Trade, says: "ChAFTA is the most favorable trade deal China has ever done with a developed economy".

"Australia, because of its security element with the US, is a particularly important element in China's managing the new circumstances and its relationships with the USA", said Peter Drysdale, professor and head of the Australian National University's East Asia Bureau of Economic Research.

But the resolution of Australia's long-standing "beef" over beef exports, came with a gentle reminder to Beijing's regional neighbours that China will not back out of the South China Sea and regards its outposts in worldwide waters as its sovereign territory.

He stressed that it is the responsibility of all countries in the region to maintain peace in the South China Sea, which is disputed by Vietnam, Malaysia, Brunei, Taiwan and the Philippines, with the U.S. having also increased its presence. Very early in his presidency he withdrew the United States from the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a 12-member trade agreement that excluded China and was instrumental to Barack Obama's intention to step up economic leadership as part of the "pivot to Asia".

It will mark the first competition game to be played in China for points and will be played in May.

  • Leroy Wright