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Print Edition> World
UPDATED: July 5, 2010 NO. 27 JULY 8, 2010
A Boost for Sino-Canadian Ties
Chinese President Hu Jintao's recent visit to Canada signals renewed momentum for bilateral relations

Nearly 300 Chinese entrepreneurs from industries such as mining, water treatment, alternative energy, construction, real estate and automobiles as well as the agricultural sector traveled with President Hu to Canada in June. At an economic and trade cooperation forum in Ottawa, they exchanged views with their Canadian counterparts on investment opportunities, market access and innovation strategies—discussions that will help chart the future course for all-around economic engagement.

Shortly after Hu's trip to Canada, Canadian Governor General Michaëlle Jean visited China from June 30 to July 5. She is the first Canadian governor general to visit China in 15 years.

"It is with pride that I will tell the people of China, on behalf of all Canadians, how much we cherish the strong, historical ties that unite us," Jean said, announcing her trip.

After a chilly spell, Sino-Canadian relations are showing strong momentum once again. There are no fundamental conflicts between China and Canada. Instead, the two nations share common interests and responsibilities in coping with the financial crisis, promoting global economic recovery, addressing hotly contested international issues and safeguarding the stability of the Asia-Pacific region and beyond. This has made it not only possible, but also highly significant, for the two nations to ensure the healthy and stable development of their relationship.

The author is a research fellow at the China Institute of International Studies

Positive Outcomes

Major agreements reached during Chinese President Hu Jintao's visit to Canada in June included:

- Both sides reiterating their commitment to developing a Sino-Canadian strategic partnership;

- Both sides agreeing to raise bilateral trade volume to $60 billion by 2015;

- China agreeing to establish a Chinese culture center in Canada;

- China promising to invite 100 local Canadian education officials and principals of primary and middle schools to visit China this year and 100 Canadian middle school students to attend summer camps in China next year;

- The signing of a memorandum of understanding between the Ministry of Commerce of China and the Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada on setting up an energy conservation and environmental protection task force under the China-Canada Joint Economic and Trade Committee;

- The signing of a memorandum of understanding by the National Tourism Administration of China and the Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada on facilitating travel of Chinese tourist groups to Canada.

Trade Proposals

In a speech at a welcome banquet hosted by Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper in Ottawa on June 24, Chinese President Hu Jintao put forward five proposals on promoting Sino-Canadian trade ties:

- Increasing bilateral trade volume. China welcomes Canada's continued efforts to pursue trade diversification and a global commerce strategy by expanding trade with China. China does not intend to seek a trade surplus with Canada. It is willing to increase imports of competitive products from Canada, especially hi-tech products. It also hopes the two sides take joint measures to upgrade their trade relations.

- Promoting two-way investment. The Chinese Government will continue to encourage Chinese companies to participate in international economic and trade cooperation. China has an advantage in the construction of infrastructure such as seaports, railways, highways and telecommunication networks. It hopes to take a greater part in Canada's Asia-Pacific Gateway and Corridor Initiative. At the same time, China welcomes Canadian companies' participation in its regional development programs of developing the western region, revitalizing old industrial bases in the northeast and promoting the development of central China.

- Deepening cooperation in energy and resources. Canada has large reserves of energy and mineral resources. China is a promising and stable consumer market. It also has a number of highly competitive energy and mineral resource companies, coupled with mature technology and rich labor resources. The potential for Sino-Canadian energy and resource cooperation is huge. The two countries should continue to support their companies' efforts to enhance cooperation by establishing long-term and stable partnerships in energy and resources. They can also further explore the prospects for cooperation in clean energy, such as nuclear energy and natural gas.

- Exploring new areas of cooperation. China is stepping up efforts to change its economic development mode, adjust its economic structure, promote innovation and build a resource-saving and environmentally friendly society. Canada possesses advanced technology and visions for environmental protection, finance, information and biomedicine. The two countries can draw on each other's advantages to make hi-tech industries, services and the green economy new areas of growth in their cooperation.

- Opposing protectionism in various forms. Different countries have been linked closely together with the deepening of economic globalization. Only if we keep opening up markets, can we realize the all-round recovery and sustainable development of the world economy. China and Canada should take concrete actions to resist protectionism while helping maintain an open, equitable and just international trade regime.

(Source: the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of China)


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