Chinese premier wraps up Australia trip with football match

AP News
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Posted: Mar 25, 2017 6:16 AM
Chinese premier wraps up Australia trip with football match

SYDNEY (AP) — China's premier attended an Australian football game with the country's prime minister on Saturday, wrapping up a visit Down Under aimed at boosting bilateral ties and expanding trade between the two nations.

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang and Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull took a break from trade discussions to kick back at the Australian Football League match in Sydney.

Turnbull and Li have spent the past several days speaking out against protectionism and touting the benefits of free trade at a time when President Donald Trump is proposing an "America First" overhaul of global trade.

China is Australia's biggest trading partner, with bilateral trade exceeding $107 billion and bilateral investment exceeding $100 billion. During Li's visit, he and Turnbull oversaw the signing of agreements that will expand their 2-year-old free trade pact. China also agreed to expand its market for Australian beef exporters.

On Friday, Turnbull rejected arguments that Australia must choose between the U.S. — its most important security partner — and China, despite growing tensions between the economic superpowers.

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