Australia to send biggest-ever business delegation to China

Staff Writer
Columbus CEO

CANBERRA, Australia (AP) — Australia's prime minister will lead the country's biggest-ever business delegation to China next week.

The government said Friday that 1,000 business leaders will accompany Malcolm Turnbull on his first visit to China since he became prime minister in September.

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 visit includes talks and a banquet with Chinese President Xi Jinping and Premier Li Keqiang.