SINGAPORE -- The Trudeau Liberals' commitment to what they describe as "progressive" trade deals was put into the spotlight today as promise hung over a meeting between Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and the Chinese premier.

Trudeau and Li Keqiang met at a key gathering of Asia-Pacific leaders, hoping to push ahead on talks toward a free trade agreement.

Trudeau kicked off the meeting by saying the two leaders would have a "frank and open" talk.

After the meeting, International Trade Minister Jim Carr told reporters the government remains interested in having a deal that helps female entrepreneurs, Indigenous Peoples and promotes other Canadian values.

China has had a cool response to the proposals, but Carr didn't say how Li and the Chinese delegation responded to the concepts at the meeting during the annual ASEAN summit.

Carr says any trade deal will take time to pull together.