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China-Canada Relations Maintain Good Momentum

Chinese President Hu Jintao is scheduled to pay a state visit to Canada on Sept. 8-11, the first by a Chinese head of state in eight years, to enhance cooperation and strengthen partnership. After attending the UN Summit, Hu will visit Vancouver on Sept. 16-17.

"I look forward to welcoming President Hu to Canada to continue our ongoing dialogue as our two countries prepare to mark 35 years of diplomatic relations," Canadian Prime Minister Paul Martin announced late last month.

"This visit is an opportunity to strengthen our personal relationship and our commitment to forming strategic partnerships between our two countries, " the prime minister said.

The Sino-Canadian ties have developed steadily since 1970, when the two countries established diplomatic relations. In 1997, the two countries forged a comprehensive partnership marking the advent of a new phase of cooperation and friendship.

The two countries have seen frequent, high-level exchanges, including a visit by Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao to Canada in December 2003 and a trip to China by his Canadian counterpart Martin in January 2005.

During Martin's visit to China, the two sides agreed on a Strategic Working Group to promote partnership in such fields as energy, trade and investment.

On many global issues, China and Canada share similar views.

Both champion multilaterism and both contribute to poverty alleviation. Their cooperation has improved in the United Nations, APEC and ASEAN Regional Forum. The two countries maintain frequent consultations and coordination on hot issues like terrorism combat, arms control and nuclear non-proliferation.

With improved political and diplomatic cooperation, the two countries boast much expanded trade and economic ties.

The two-way trade volume reached about US$16 billion in2004, up almost 100 times over 1970. China is now Canada's second largest trading partner, while Canada ranks the 10th among China's trading partners. The two countries are also aspiring to double their trade by 2010.

In mutual investments, Canada has funded 7,900 projects in China with a total of paid-in investment of US$4.5 billion, while projects with Chinese funding in Canada have reached 173, with a total investment of US$467 million.

Cultural and educational exchanges have also yielded fruitful results. Canadian schools of higher learning have attracted 55,000 Chinese students. Meanwhile, interest in learning the Chinese language is growing among Canadians.

The two countries are highly complementary with Canada having rich natural resources and China maintaining rapid economic development.

"The two governments and two peoples share a strong desire and enthusiasm for closer economic partnership," Premier Wen has said in reference to the huge potential for Sino-Canadian cooperation.
Martin, on his part, has urged all Canadian businesses to develop and implement their China strategies.
Both countries are bracing for an new era of prosperity based on their cooperation and partnership in the 21st century.

(Xinhua News Agency September 8, 2005)

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