Wen Jiabao Holds Talks with Canadian Prime Minister Harper

On February 8, 2012, Premier Wen Jiabao held talks with Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper at the Great Hall of the People.

Wen spoke positively of the growth of China-Canada relations in recent years, citing frequent high-level exchanges, enhanced two-way trade and investment, and increasing exchanges in the areas of culture, education and technology. Both sides have also conducted effective coordination in international and regional organizations, he added.

“Under the new circumstances, the two countries should implement the consensus reached in the China-Canada joint statement, maintain mutual respect, equality and non-interference in each other’s internal affairs and beef up understanding through dialogue,” Wen said. China and Canada have common interest in a wide range of areas including developing economy, maintaining peace, and addressing global issues. China is ready to work with Canada to plan the development of bilateral relations from the long-term and strategic perspective and push exchanges and cooperation in various fields to yield more results.

Wen said the two economies are highly complementary and both sides should make full use of this advantage to cope with the increasingly fierce international competition. “The negotiation on China-Canada investment protection agreement has concluded. We hope to sign the important document as soon as possible to facilitate two-way investment,” Wen said. Wen proposed to draw up an all-round plan on boosting bilateral economic cooperation based on joint research on economic complementarities. He also urged discussions on the feasibility of signing a China-Canada free trade agreement. He urged the forging of a long-term, stable and diversified partnership with Canada in the energy and resource sector. “China is ready to expand imports of energy and resource products from Canada and enhance cooperation in clean and renewable energy, energy-saving, environmental protection, and the peaceful use of nuclear energy,” Wen said. The two countries should also explore cooperation in the areas of the judiciary, culture, technology, agriculture, finance and the polar ocean, he added.

Harper told Wen that recent years have witnessed strong growth of Canada-China strategic partnership, fruitful cooperation in various fields, close personnel contact and strengthened bilateral friendly ties. Canada-China relations are long-lasting and strategic ties based on mutual respect and they enjoy broad prospect. Harper said Canada welcomes China to expand investment in his country and expects closer bilateral cooperation in trade, energy, resources, finance and culture. He vowed closer coordination with China in global and regional affairs and to boost bilateral ties to a new level.

Both sides also exchanged views on international and regional hot issues.

Following the talks, the two leaders attended the signing ceremony of several bilateral cooperation agreements.

Prior to the talks, Wen hosted a welcome ceremony for Harper at the North Hall of the Great Hall of the People. Vice Chairman of Central Committee of China Zhi Gong Party Yang Xiaopei, Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi, Minister of the National Development and Reform Commission of China Zhang Ping, Minister of Commerce Chen Deming, Chinese Ambassador to Canada Zhang Junsai and other officials attended the welcome ceremony.