China, Australia to Strengthen Relations Further; Countries to Jointly Oppose Protectionism
The relations between China and Australia are expected to get stronger, as the two countries are reportedly committed to continuously work together to go against protectionism.
Amid the "America First" policy of newly-elected US President Donald Trump, reports have revealed that Australia has been keen of being a "comprehensive strategic partner of China," while maintaining its alliance with the United States.
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On Tuesday, China's Foreign Minister Wang Yi told reporters that he agreed with his Australian counterpart Julie Bishop about strengthening their countries' bilateral ties, including free trade.
With the anticipated strengthened China-Australia relations, the Chinese official was reportedly vocal in expressing his objection to the idea of protectionism.
"At a time when we face an international situation that is full of uncertainties, we agree to send a clear message that it is important to firmly commit to an open world economy," Wang said.
Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull assured Wang, who was in Australia's capital Canberra on Tuesday that his country would be working with China closely in terms of opposing protectionism.
Meanwhile, Bishop said that "Australia reassures China that we are a reliable partner and that we will continue to place a strong trade and economic relationship as one of our highest priorities."
She added that the people-to-people links are now being emphasized since "we believe that there are already very positive signs that the people-to-people links are deepening as well."
Following the visit of China's Wang to Australia, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang would also visit the country on March 24 to meet with Turnbull.