Chinese Premier Li Keqiang (L) addresses the 2nd Australia-China State/Provincial Leaders Forum in Sydney, Australia, March 24, 2017. Li attended the forum together with Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull. (Xinhua/Yao Dawei)
Visiting Chinese Premier Li Keqiang on Friday called on more Australian states and territories to strengthen exchanges and cooperation with China's central and western regions, so as to benefit from China's grand development drive of the western region. [Special coverage]
Li made the remarks when attending the second Australia-China State/Provincial Leaders Forum together with Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull.
Li said that local-level cooperation is an inseparable part of China-Australia relations, about 100 pairs of cities of the two countries have cemented friendly ties, and the fruitful local-level cooperation ushered the bilateral ties into a new realm.
The Chinese premier hoped the two sides will expand cooperation to explore business opportunities in more areas such as agriculture, science and technology, education, logistics and some new businesses.
Li said that the China-Australia friendship is based on people-to-people and regional exchanges.
Noting that this year marks the 45th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties between the two countries, as well as the China-Australia Year of Tourism, Li called on the two countries' local regions to enhance cooperation in education, culture, science and technology, tourism, youth and media, and organize more friendly activities at the local level, so as to make the friendship deeply rooted in the hearts of the two peoples.
Turnbull said that Australia and China enjoy a long history of local-level exchanges as well as close cooperation in various areas, which have brought concrete benefits to the two peoples.
Noting that Australia and China are reliable partners, and the bilateral relations cannot go ahead without the participation by each country's local regions, Turnbull called for joint efforts to promote local-level exchanges and cooperation between the two countries to make new contributions to the two countries' prosperity and free trade in the Asia-Pacific region.
Officials from Australia's six states and two territories, and those from Chinese provinces of Jiangsu, Henan, Hubei, Guangdong, Shaanxi, Shanxi and the Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, as well as the municipality of Chongqing, attended the forum.