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Li Keqiang and Prime Minister Tony Abbott of Australia Hold a China-Australia Annual Prime Ministerial Meeting, Agreeing to Speed up the Negotiations of Free Trade Agreement and Promote for New Development of China-Australia Strategic Partnership

In the afternoon of April 9, 2014, Premier Li Keqiang and Prime Minister Tony Abbott of Australia held a China-Australia annual Prime Ministerial meeting in Sanya City, Hainan Province.

Li Keqiang said, several days ago, we talked via the telephone about the incident of the missing Malaysia Airlines flight and agreed to intensify the search operation. The Chinese side highly appreciates that the Australian side has made huge efforts in the search and provided assistance and facilitation for the Chinese side to participate in the search. The international cooperation in search of the missing flight indicates that regional countries are fully capable of addressing challenges with concerted efforts.

Abbott briefed the latest updates of the search work of the missing flight. He said that it fully embodies the sincere cooperation among regional countries. The Australian side praises the important role the Chinese side has played in the search process and will continue to lead and coordinate with all parties concerned to facilitate an all-out search operation.

Li Keqiang pointed out, Asia is trying to become a driving force for the global economic growth, thus requires a peaceful and stable regional environment. The current cooperation in East Asia is facing both opportunities and challenges. China is willing to cooperate hand in hand with all parties and be the builder of regional peace, the guardian of stability and the promoter of development. Both as influential countries in the region, China and Australia should adhere to their strategic and long-term perspective, respect each other's core interests and major concerns and expand mutually beneficial cooperation in economy and trade, investment, finance, education, defense and other fields, so as to promote the bilateral strategic partnership for continually new development.

Li Keqiang stressed, the signing of China-Australia Free Trade Agreement (FTA) at an early date is an important consensus between the two sides. Hope the two sides could advance relevant negotiations in the spirits of mutual benefit, practical engagement and mutual accommodation, in an effort to reach a more balanced and high-level agreement. We expect the Australian side to continue to provide a fair environment for Chinese enterprises to invest and operate in Australia.

Abbott expressed that recent years have seen the impressive achievements in development China has made. The Australian side is willing to learn from China's experience in economic development and to be a strategic and economic cooperative partner of China. Australia will strengthen dialogues and exchanges with China on the basis of mutual respect and mutual understanding, accelerate the negotiation process of Australia-China FTA, comprehensively promote the cooperation in the fields of education, culture and security, enhance exchanges and cooperation between the two militaries, further deepen the bilateral strategic partnership, and jointly safeguard the regional peace, stability and development. The Australian side welcomes the Chinese side to expand investment in Australia. Abbott stressed that his visit to China is the climax and highlight of his East Asian tour this time.

Following the talks, the two Premiers witnessed together the signing of bilateral cooperation documents in the fields of finance, agriculture and animal husbandry.

Prior to the talks, Li Keqiang held a welcoming ceremony for Abbot's visit to China.

State Councilor Yang Jing were present.

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