Premier Li Keqiang (L) and his wife Cheng Hong are welcomed by Canadian senior officials upon their arrival at Ottawa, Canada, Sept 21, 2016. [Photo/Xinhua]
OTTAWA — Premier Li Keqiang arrived in Ottawa on Sept 21 for an official visit to Canada, the first by a Chinese premier in 13 years.
Premier Li, accompanied by his wife Cheng Hong and senior Chinese officials, arrived in Ottawa as the guest of his Canadian counterpart Justin Trudeau, who just paid an official visit to China and attended the G20 Hangzhou summit from Aug 30 to Sept 6.
China-Canada relations are with deep foundation, huge potential and great development opportunity, said Premier Li upon his arrival, and added that the exchange of visits of Chinese premier and Canadian prime minister within one month showed that both sides value the bilateral relations.
Premier Li said his visit will formally launch the annual dialogue mechanism between the Chinese premier and the Canadian prime minister, further exchange ideas with the Canadian side on issues of common concern, and promote exchanges and cooperation in all fields, in a bid to inject strong impetus into the development of China-Canada relations in the new period.
In Ottawa, Premier Li and Trudeau will hold talks and witness the signing of a series of bilateral cooperation documents. Premier Li will meet Canada’s Governor General, Speaker of the Senate, Speaker of the House of Commons, and some local leaders.
Premier Li and Trudeau will also attend and address the Canada-China Business Forum to be held in Montreal, and other cultural events.
It is the second stop of Premier Li’s trip after he attended the 71st session of the United Nations General Assembly in New York. The Premier will also visit Cuba later.
Vice Foreign Minister Li Baodong said last week that the premier’s visit to Canada showed the importance of the development of bilateral relations between the two countries, and it will inject strong impetus for future development. China-Canada relations have been strengthened thanks to the joint efforts of the two sides. During Trudeau’s visit to China, the two sides announced the establishment of the annual dialogue mechanism.
The two countries also established the China-Canada High-Level National Security and Rule of Law Dialogue during Trudeau’s visit, and Canada announced that it had decided to apply for the membership of China-initiated Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank.
China is now Canada’s second largest trading partner. The trade between the two countries reached about $67.2 billion in 2015, a 10.1 percent increase over 2014, accounting for 8.1 percent of Canada’s total merchandise trade, according to Canadian statistics.