OTTAWA — China-Canada relations enjoy a solid foundation and bright prospects as the two economies are highly complementary and the two peoples have a long-time friendship, Premier Li Keqiang said.
“My visit to Canada ... is to inaugurate the new annual dialogue between our heads of government and further promote mutual understanding and mutually beneficial cooperation between our countries,” Premier Li said in an article published in Canadian newspaper The Globe and Mail on Sept 21.
The Premier recalled the traditional friendship between China and Canada, saying there have been more “handshakes across the Pacific” and his official visit aims to make policy communication between the two nations “more timely and effective.”
“Mutual trust is the cornerstone of friendly relations and cooperation between China and Canada,” Premier Li said, voicing the hope of stepping up communication and coordination with Canada at various international forums to promote world peace and stability as well as help global economic recovery.
“The two sides should respect each other’s concerns on issues of vital interests and the right to independently choose the path of development and overcome distractions to make sure that the ship of China-Canada relations power ahead on the right course,” he added.
Citing figures to prove booming China-Canada trade, the Premier called economic cooperation and trade “the driving force of China-Canada relations.”
Against the backdrop of a steep decline in global trade, China-Canada trade continued to rise last year and Chinese companies’ investment in Canada increased by 126 percent in the same year, he said.
“China is willing to open its markets wider and further increase imports of high-quality agricultural and high-tech products from Canada,” he added.
“We welcome Canadian companies to make investments and do business in China to share the opportunities that come with China’s economic growth.”
Besides enhancing political communication and economic ties, people-to-people exchanges are “a powerful catalyst for China-Canada friendly cooperation,” the Premier noted.
“Amity between the people holds the key to state-to-state relations.”
Each week, 90 or so flights fly between the two countries, and the number of Chinese students studying in Canada has exceeded 150,000, the Premier said.
Meanwhile, the Chinese language and culture are getting popular with Canadians, which can be shown by the fact that Chinese calligraphy and Kung Fu attract more and more Canadian fans, Premier Li said.
“I will make use of this visit to further boost China-Canada people-to-people and cultural exchanges,” the Premier said.
The year 2018 has been designated as the year of tourism between China and Canada, according to the article.
Comparing the symbol of fiery maple to the prosperity of China-Canada all-round cooperation, Premier Li said: “China will work with Canada to enrich our strategic partnership and tap the potential of practical cooperation to bring more benefits to the Chinese and Canadian peoples.”