China hopes to strengthen cooperation with Canada in the areas of anti-corruption and law enforcement with the aim of jointly combating international crimes, Foreign Minister Wang Yi said when meeting Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland in Beijing on Aug 9.
Making the remark during the second annual China-Canada foreign ministers meeting, Wang also said China hopes to work with Canada to create “a new golden time” of bilateral ties.
The fact that Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Premier Li Keqiang exchanged visits within a month showed the two countries’ “urgent wish” to deepen cooperation, Wang said.
Freeland said the ties are “a priority relationship for Canada”, and that “Canadians in general are proud of our long history of an independent and particular relationship with China”.
Wang said, among other things, that China and Canada should maintain high-level exchanges and exchanges at other various levels, promote the construction of a China-Canada free trade zone and expand anti-corruption and law enforcement cooperation.
Freeland said Canada hopes to actively discuss the launch of negotiation of the free trade agreement between the two countries and that Canada sticks to the one-China policy and understands China’s position and concerns on issues regarding Taiwan and Tibet.
Wang held the first China-Canada foreign ministers meeting in June 2016 with former Canadian foreign minister Stephane Dion in Ottawa.
The visit starting in August last year by Trudeau, son of former Canadian prime minister Pierre Trudeau, who established Canada’s diplomatic relations with China in 1970, was regarded as important in terms of turning a new page for bilateral ties.
Trudeau’s visit was followed by Premier Li’s visit to Canada in September.
During Premier Li’s visit, the two countries issued a joint statement saying they agreed to expand bilateral trade and strengthen cooperation in fields including agriculture and energy.
The two sides also signed a number of cooperation documents, including one on sharing and return of forfeited assets.
Li Haidong, professor of the Institute of International Relations at the China Foreign Affairs University, said the two countries have great potential in cooperation in fields including trade, energy and fugitive repatriation and asset recovery.
The mechanism of the two countries foreign ministers meeting is “an important channel” for them to communicate, improve trust, and coordinate and cooperate to address issues they care about, the professor said.
The Trudeau government has shifted Canada’s priority of foreign relations from North America to the Asia-Pacific and China, and the two countries need each other more urgently than ever, the professor said.