China and Australia on Wednesday agreed to accelerate talks over a free trade agreement (FTA).

The consensus was reached by Chinese Premier Li Keqiang and his Australian counterpart Tony Abbott during their meeting on the sidelines of the leaders' meeting between China and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).

Noting that both China and Australia are important countries in the Asia-Pacific region, Li said the two countries also share a wide range of common interests and enjoy great potential for cooperation, Li said.

Stronger bilateral cooperation would not only benefit the two sides, but help maintain peace, stability and development in the region and worldwide, he added.

Li urged the two countries to handle bilateral ties from strategic and long-term perspective, and enhance economic and financial cooperation.

The Chinese premier also called on the two countries to enhance their coordination under multilateral mechanisms.

For his part, Abbot said Australia is committed to promoting bilateral ties and is willing to rev up high-level exchanges and strategic communication with China.

Australia hopes to accelerate the FTA talks with China to expand two-way trade at an early date, Abbot said.


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