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China, Canada Agree on Building Strategic Partnership

China and Canada agreed on building a strategic partnership aimed at promoting the long-term and steady development of bilateral relations on Friday morning.

The agreement on raising China-Canada relationship from a partnership of all-round cooperation mapped out in 1997 to a strategic partnership was reached between visiting Chinese President Hu Jintao and Canadian Prime Minister Paul Martin during their two-hour talks.

Martin said during the talks that the rapid growth of Canada-China relations has brought pragmatic benefits to the two peoples and is conducive to safeguarding regional peace and stability.

Canada expects continuous development of cooperation with China so as to make the two countries to become all-dimensional strategic partners, said Martin.

Hu said to enhance Sino-Canadian friendly and cooperative relations constitutes an important component of the Chinese foreign policy and the development of bilateral relations boasts a sound foundation and a good opportunity.

Both sides should push forward all-round cooperation in various fields covering politics, economy, trade, science, technology, culture, education, health and environmental protection as the establishment of such a partnership conforms to the requirements of the times and aspiration of the two peoples, said Hu.

They should also give full play to bilateral cooperative mechanisms and strengthen consultations and coordination on major international and regional issues, the Chinese president said.

He said the two sides should also expand exchanges at various levels and strengthen consultations and dialogues in various fields. Meanwhile, both sides should also strive to raise bilateral trade volume from 15.5 billion US dollars in 2004 to 30 billion US dollars in 2010.

He suggested that both sides further enhance two-way investment, set up a long-term and steady partnership for cooperation in energy resources, promote cultural, educational, scientific, technological and personnel exchanges, and strengthen communication on major international and regional issues.

Echoing Hu, Martin said China is playing an increasingly important role in international affairs and China's development brings a great opportunity for Canada.

The Canadian government firmly adheres to the one-China policy and will work with the Chinese side to deepen bilateral cooperation in politics, economy, trade, science, technology, energy resources, agriculture and international affairs, said Martin.

After the talks, Hu and Martin witnessed the signing of a series of cooperative documents between the two sides concerning air transportation, railways, food security, quarantine, nuclear energy and health research.

Hu and Martin also gave a press briefing after the signing ceremony and answered questions from the press on human rights, Tibet and Taiwan.

Hu said at the briefing that to enhance Sino-Canadian friendly and cooperative relations constitutes an important component of the Chinese foreign policy and the Chinese side will work with the Canadian side to continuously push for new results in the development of bilateral ties.

Martin said this visit is fruitful and it is of great significance for the two countries to establish a strategic partnership.

Hu arrived in the Canadian capital of Ottawa Thursday morning on a state visit as guest of Canadian Governor General Adrienne Clarkson.

This is the first visit to Canada by a Chinese head of state in eight years.

Hu is also scheduled to pay a state visit to Mexico and attend the UN summit scheduled for Sept. 14-16 in New York.
(Xinhua News Agency September 10, 2005)

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