Prime Minister Stephen Harper today announced that he has accepted an invitation from the Government of China to visit China during the second week of February. While in China, Prime Minister Harper will meet with Chinese President Hu Jintao and Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao.
“Canada and China enjoy a strategic partnership based on mutual respect and collaboration, and rooted in strong social and cultural links, shared by over one million Canadians of Chinese descent,” said the Prime Minister. “Our Government is committed to moving our relationship with China forward by focusing on deepening economic ties, including opening new markets, and setting the foundation for long-term growth”.
The Prime Minister’s visit will build on his successful trip to China in December 2009, when China announced that it would grant Canada Approved Destination Status (ADS). This visit also follows the June 2010 visit to Canada of President Hu, when the two leaders witnessed the signing of new initiatives, including a Cooperative Arrangement committing Canada and China to resolving access for Canadian beef.
Canada and China celebrated 40 years of diplomatic relations in 2010, and China is Canada’s second-largest merchandise trading partner. Bilateral merchandise trade reached $57.7 billion in 2010, while overall trade between the two countries more than tripled between 2001 and 2010. The Government of Canada is active in China in support of Canadian companies, with 11 service points comprising five diplomatic missions and six trade offices.