China and Australia are closer to a free trade deal after a productive round of negotiations that ended Friday. Beijing chief's negotiator, Zhang Xiangchen, told The Australian newspaper that Beijing dropped its resistance to include key sectors in the talks. Zhang said sectors ranging from agriculture to government procurement are on the table and China is ready to take another step forward in trade five years after joining the World Trade Organization. The lack of cooperation from Beijing was a sore point with the Australians and Trade Minister Mark Vaile had previously complained about China slowing the negotiations down and refusing to discuss key agricultural products.
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