China appears to have endorsed the new Australian Government’s claim that a trade deal between the two countries can be achieved within a year.
Prime Minister Tony Abbott has been criticised for promising to secure a China-Australia free trade deal within his first year in office.
After years of failed talks it was seen as overly optimistic. It was also said to be playing into the hands of Chinese negotiators who would use the deadline to bargain hard.
But now senior Chinese politician Wang Yang has said publicly that China and Australia would sign such an agreement within a year.
The politburo member made this comment in a speech to an audience which included Governor-General Quentin Bryce.