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Premier kicks off visit to Canada
Chinese Premier Zhu Rongji arrived in St. John's at the night of April 14 to begin his seven-day visit to the "country of maple," after wrapping up his successful visit to the United States.

"I would like to take this opportunity to extend to the Canadian Government and people high regards and cordial greetings from the Chinese Government and people," Zhu said in a written statement upon his arrival at St. John's Airport.

Zhu hopes his visit will deepen understanding, expand common ground, enhance friendship and promote co-operation to ensure the advancement of a 21st-century-oriented Sino-Canadian partnership.

"I am looking forward to an in-depth exchange of views with Prime Minister Jean Chretien and other Canadian Government leaders on China-Canada relations, and other international and regional issues," Zhu said.

"I am also looking forward to meeting more Canadian friends from all walks of life, to exchange views and learn from each other," he added.

Developing and maintaining a sound co-operative relationship is in the fundamental interests of both nations and peoples, Zhu said.

This will also enhance peace and prosperity in the region and throughout the world, he added.

Zhu's entourage includes his wife Lao An, State Councillor Wang Zhongyu, Foreign Minister Tang Jiaxuan, State Development Planning Commission Minister Zeng Peiyan, Foreign Trade Minister Shi Guangsheng and special assistant Liu Huaqiu.

Zhu will also visit Ottawa, Toronto, Calgary, Victoria and Vancouver.

(China Daily 04/16/1999)

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