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Australian PM Tony Abbot visits China


23 April 2014

Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbot is on a visit to China, the island-nation's largest trading partner. Leading some 600 high-level government officials and business representatives, the Prime Minister is expected to meet with senior Chinese leaders, attend the opening of the Boao Forum for Asia and participate in the activities held during Australian Week in China.

But the most important issue being watched by observers will be whether China and Australia will be able to make major breakthroughs in negotiations over a Free Trade Agreement, or FTA, that has been under way for years.

Earlier on Monday, Australia and its second largest trade partner, Japan, have reached a historic deal in which Japan has opened up its long-cherished agricultural market to Australia, while tariffs on Japanese electronics and car exports to Australia will be slashed.

So how is Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbot's visit to China being perceived by both Chinese and Australian experts? How do observers assess the likelihood of the China-Australia FTA being reached by both sides?

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