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China and Australia have inked commercial deals worth almost 9 billion U.S. dollars. The contracts were signed during Chinese Vice-president Xi Jinping's visit to Australia. Xi also urged both parties to push forward the free trade talks.
Free trade talks between Australia and China are in their 5th year, and will enter their fifteenth round next month.
Still, Xi told government and business leaders at a lunch at Australia's Parliament House, that China will persist in reaching a free trade deal.
China is Australia's biggest export market.
Xi Jinping, Chinese Vice President said "Steady progress is being made in negotiations on the bilateral free trade agreement, which is of strategic importance to both countries. A comprehensive, balanced, high quality and mutually-beneficial free trade agreement will offer a new opportunity and platform for the two countries to deepen mutually-beneficial cooperation across the board."
Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd agreed that his country's economic and trade relationship with China, is incredibly important.
Kevin Rudd, Australian Prime Minister said "Our relationship stretches back a long time, but we have a strong future ahead of us as well and I would encourage each person here to participate in this dialogue which is so important to our trade and economic relationship."
Xi said China and Australia had to take "concrete action" to oppose trade and investment protectionism in the aftermath of the global recession.
Xi Jinping, Chinese Vice President said "China will work actively for the sound and balanced growth of its foreign trade, and rejects trade protectionism in all forms. This is a solemn commitment to the international community made by China as a responsible country."
During Xi's visit, 10 agreements has been signed, mostly related to the resources and energy sectors.