CANBERRA, Australia – Australia’s prime minister will lead the country’s biggest-ever business delegation to China next week.
About 1,000 business leaders will accompany Malcolm Turnbull on his first visit to China since he became prime minister in September, his office said Friday.
Three government ministers and two state premiers will also join the two-day visit which begins Thursday.
The visit comes as Australian tax revenues have been hit by the economic slowdown of Australia’s biggest trading partner. Australia is resisting pressure from the United States, its most important strategic partner, to challenge Chinese territorial claims to international waters in the South China Sea by sending a warship close to disputed islands.
The delegation aims to build on trade and investment opportunities opened by a bilateral free trade pact that came into force in December.
The visit includes talks and a banquet with Chinese President Xi Jinping and Premier Li Keqiang.