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Big opportunities for China-Canada relations: Premier

Updated: Aug 31,2016 9:06 PM     Xinhua

BEIJING — China-Canada relations are facing broad opportunities, Premier Li Keqiang said on Aug 31.

While meeting visiting Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Premier Li said that he hopes to see further progress in relations with Trudeau’s visit providing the impetus.

Trudeau said that strengthening the friendship and potential of the relationship between the two will open a new era in China’s engagement with the rest of the world.

While meeting journalists with Trudeau, Premier Li said that they have agreed to maintain close contact between high-ranking officials, and establish an annual dialogue mechanism between the Chinese Premier and Canadian Prime Minister.

The Premier said that the two sides have discussed establishing a dialogue mechanism on national security and law, and agreed to making full use of an annual meeting between foreign ministers.

Premier Li added that they have agreed to launch a feasibility study of a China-Canada free trade area as early as possible.

He admitted to historical differences between the two countries, but maintained that mutual interests outweigh the differences.

Trudeau said that the two sides will step up trade and investment. Canada will take specific measures to improve people-to-people communication with China, he said.

The Canadian prime minister added that the two countries will cooperate in areas of mutual concern, including climate change, judge training and UN peacekeeping.

Premier Li encouraged Canadian businessmen to come to China with high-quality products.

This is the first official visit of Trudeau to China since taking office in November 2015. His father, former Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau, was the first Canadian prime minister to visit China.

After his stay in Beijing, Trudeau will fly to Hangzhou to attend the G20 summit.