Chinese premier wraps up Australia trip with football match

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang, second left, is given a Sydney Swans' team scarf along with Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, right, after the scarfs were thrown to them from a crowd member ahead of an Australian Rule Football League match between the Swans and the Port Adelaide at the Sydney Cricket Ground in Sydney, Saturday, March 25, 2017. (Dean Lewins/AAP via AP )
Australia's Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, right, and Chinese Premier Li Keqiang wave to members of the public as they walk along the Sydney Harbour foreshore in Sydney Saturday, March 25, 2017. (David Gray/AAP Image via AP)

SYDNEY — 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.

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