Promote the All-round Development of the China-Canada Strategic Partnership
Speech by President Hu Jintao at the
Ottawa, 24 June 2010
The Rt. Hon. Prime Minister Stephen Harper,
Let me begin by expressing heartfelt thanks to Prime Minister Harper for hosting this grand banquet and delivering warm remarks.
I also wish to take this opportunity to extend appreciation to the Canada China Business Council (CCBC) and the China Council for the Promotion of International Trade (CCPIT) for their efforts to organize the Fourth China Canada Business Forum. Over the years, the CCBC and all of you present have made active contributions to deepening mutual understanding and friendship between our two peoples and pushing forward relations between our two countries. I wish to extend my heartfelt appreciation to you and, through you, to the people from various sectors of Canada who have cared for and supported the growth of China-Canada friendship.
I am delighted to once again pay a state visit to Canada on the occasion of the 40th anniversary of our diplomatic relations. Today, I had fruitful meetings and talks with Governor General Michaëlle Jean and Prime Minister Harper, and we reached extensive consensus in our discussions. We reaffirmed our commitment to the China-Canada strategic partnership and agreed to take the opportunity of the 40th anniversary of our diplomatic relations to further advance our bilateral ties in all respects.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
In October 1970, leaders of China and Canada, acting in the fundamental interests of the two countries and peoples, took the strategic decision to establish diplomatic relations between us. It was a move that met the trend of the time and turned a new page in China-Canada relations. Since then, our bilateral relations have made remarkable achievements thanks to efforts of both sides. The two countries have had frequent contacts at the top and other levels. We have carried out fruitful practical cooperation. Annual trade volume surged from a mere US$150 million in the early days of our diplomatic ties to US$29.7 billion in 2009. China is now Canada's second largest trading partner and third largest export market. Bilateral mutually-beneficial cooperation in culture, education, health care, justice and law enforcement has grown in both scope and depth. And we have maintained effective communication and coordination on many major international and regional issues. In recent years, there have been more than 700,000 mutual visits between the people of our two countries each year. It means that each day over 2,000 people travel across the Pacific Ocean between our two countries. We have established seven sister-province relationships and 37 sister-city relationships.
What has happened shows that the growing China-Canada relationship has brought concrete benefits to our peoples, and contributed significantly to peace, stability and prosperity in the Asia-Pacific region and beyond. Though our national conditions differ, there exists no conflict of fundamental interests between us, and our common interests far outweigh our differences. As long as we both adhere to the principles of mutual respect, equality, mutual benefit and seeking common ground while reserving differences, as long as we keep to the right direction of bilateral relations, we will make our relationship a model for relations between countries different in social system and level and model of development.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Under the new circumstances, China and Canada can benefit greatly from each other's development. Our common interests are broadening and our cooperation in all areas holds tremendous potential. A sound, stable, positive and growing China-Canada relationship serves the interests of China, Canada, the Asia-Pacific region and the world at large.
To advance China-Canada relations, we must take a strategic and long-term perspective, maintain our strategic partnership, and inject new impetus into the growth of our relations. We must increase high-level exchanges and continue and expand consultations at various levels to increase mutual understanding and trust. We must push forward practical cooperation in all fields and explore new ways and means of cooperation, so that the people can feel for themselves the benefits of our cooperation. We must intensify coordination on major international and regional issues, enhance consultations and cooperation on climate change, nuclear security, food security, public health security and counter-terrorism, and contribute our share to a more just and equitable international order. We must respect and accommodate each other's core interests and major concerns and appropriately handle sensitive issues to ensure that our bilateral relations will move forward without disruption. We must encourage extensive exchanges between various sectors of the two countries and increase the mutual understanding and friendship between the two peoples with a view to consolidating public support for China-Canada friendship.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Trade and economic cooperation is a key component of China-Canada relations. Deeper business cooperation serves the fundamental interests of our two countries and peoples. It is also essential to our efforts to advance our strategic partnership in an all-round way. Our two economies are highly complementary and our cooperation has bright prospects. Trade between us now accounts for only 1% of China's total foreign trade and less than 6% of that of Canada's. Canada's investment in China takes up less than 1% of total foreign investment in China. This shows that a lot can be done in boosting our trade and economic cooperation. We must seize the opportunities and broaden our vision to expand our business cooperation and raise it to a higher level. We should, on the basis of mutual benefit and win-win progress, tap the potential, enrich the substance, and innovate the ways of our cooperation. To this end, I wish to make the following proposals.
First, we need to expand bilateral trade. China welcomes Canada's continued commitment to following a diversified global commerce strategy and pursuing greater trade with China. On the Chinese side, it is not our intention to seek trade surplus with Canada. We are willing to increase import of competitive Canadian products, particularly high-tech products, on the basis of mutual benefit and hope that the two sides can take joint steps to elevate the level of bilateral trade. During my visit, the two sides have agreed to work together to increase bilateral trade to US$60 billion by 2015. I am confident that this target will serve as a new driving force for the advancement of our economic and trade ties.
Second, we need to promote two-way investment. The Chinese government will continue to encourage competitive Chinese enterprises to take part in international economic and trade cooperation through multiple forms. China has an advantage in infrastructure development, including port, railway, highway and telecommunication networks. We look forward to greater participation in the implementation of Canada's Asia-Pacific Gateway and Corridor Initiative. At the same time, we welcome the participation of Canadian businesses in China's regional development strategies, including the development of the western region, the reinvigoration of the northeastern provinces and other old industrial bases and the further development of the central provinces.
Third, we need to deepen cooperation on energy and resources. Canada is endowed with rich energy and mineral resources while China provides a stable, reliable and the most promising consumer market. China has a number of well-established energy and mineral companies as well as mature technologies and labor force. Cooperation between our two countries in energy and resources promises a bright future. We need to give continued support to our companies in expanding their cooperation and setting up a long-term and stable partnership in the energy and resources sector. And we may discuss further our cooperation in nuclear energy, natural gas and other clean energy sources.
Fourth, we need to let our cooperation branch out into new areas. China is now accelerating the transformation of its economic development pattern and economic restructuring. It is moving at a faster pace towards an innovation-driven country and a resource conserving and environment friendly society. Canada has advanced technologies and ideas in environmental protection, finance, information and bio-medicine. We can draw upon each other's strengths and advance cooperation in these sectors to make high technologies, the service industry and green economy new growth areas in our cooperation.
Fifth, we need to oppose all forms of protectionism. As economic globalization gathers momentum, countries in the world have become more than ever closely linked. We need to adopt an inclusive approach and keep our markets open. This is vitally important if we are to achieve the full recovery and sustainable development of the world economy. China and Canada must take concrete actions to resist protectionism and uphold an open, fair and just economic and trading system in the world.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
As a responsible member of the international community, China will continue to actively participate in international cooperation, appropriately handle risks and challenges and make greater contribution to the full recovery of the world economy. We want to maintain close coordination and cooperation with Canada and other parties to help bring about positive and practical outcomes at the upcoming fourth G20 summit.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
The friendly and mutually beneficial cooperation between China and Canada has brought and will continue to bring tangible benefits to our two peoples. And it will continue to be a contributing factor to peace, stability and prosperity in the Asia-Pacific region and beyond. Let us join hands to raise high the sails of friendship and cooperation and steer the ship of China-Canada relations towards an even better future.