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Canada and China release a Joint Statement

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Beijing, China - At the invitation of Premier Wen Jiabao, Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper made an official visit to China from December 2 – 6, 2009, visiting Beijing, Shanghai and the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region. 

 Prime Minister Harper had a meeting with President Hu Jintao, held talks with Premier Wen Jiabao, and will meet with Chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress Wu Bangguo. Both sides had an in-depth, candid and productive exchange of views on China-Canada relations and major international and regional issues of mutual interest, finding consensus in many areas. During the visit, a series of agreements was signed to further bilateral cooperation in the fields of climate change, mineral resources, culture and agricultural education, details of which are in the Annex attached. 

Both sides gave a positive assessment of the development of Canada-China relations in the 39 years since the establishment of diplomatic relations, and acknowledged that China and Canada are both influential countries in the Asia-Pacific region, sharing extensive common interests and broad prospects for cooperation. Friendly ties have long existed between China and Canada, symbolized by such figures as Doctor Norman Bethune and the fact that there are now 1.3 million Chinese-Canadians in Canada. To develop a long-term and stable relationship of cooperation on the basis of mutual respect, equality and mutual benefit is in the fundamental interest of the two countries and two peoples. The two sides agreed to work together to further promote China-Canada cooperation in all bilateral areas and international affairs, as bilateral relations enter a significant new era.

The two sides agreed on the importance of frequent exchanges, including at leaders’ level, to promote development of the China-Canada relationship. Both sides agreed to enhance the role of the Strategic Working Group, a bilateral mechanism established in 2005 to facilitate regular, high-level bilateral exchange between officials. Deputy Minister-level officials from both sides will meet early in 2010 to discuss the nature of this enhancement and likely subjects of focus, including trade and investment, energy and environment, health and governance. Both sides further agreed to make full use of the more than 40 bilateral consultation mechanisms already in existence, reinforcing dialogue and communication in all fields. 

Both sides are committed to a steady and positive forward momentum in the overall bilateral relationship, reaffirming the fundamental principle of respecting each other’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, core interests and major concerns. Neither side supports any attempts by any force to undermine the above-mentioned principle. The Chinese side emphasized that the question of Taiwan concerns China’s sovereignty and territorial integrity. The Canadian side reiterated its consistent and long-standing One China policy, established at the founding of diplomatic relations, and underlined its support for the peaceful development of cross-Strait relations, including through efforts by both sides to increase dialogue and interactions in economic, political and other fields. 

Both sides recognized that each country and its people have the right to choose their own path, and that all countries should respect each other’s choice of development model. Both sides acknowledged that differing histories and national conditions can create some distinct points of view on issues such as human rights. The two sides agreed to increased dialogue and exchanges on human rights, on the basis of equality and mutual respect, to promote and protect human rights consistent with international human rights instruments.

The two sides were in agreement that strong economic and trade complementarity exists between Canada and China. Practical cooperation should be enhanced to promote increased trade and investment between the countries. The two sides reiterated their commitment to maintaining an open investment and trade policy, opposing protectionism in all its manifestations, reducing barriers to investment, and encouraging cooperation between enterprises of the two countries. Canada welcomes investment from China. China welcomes investment from Canada. Both sides undertake to expedite negotiations of a China-Canada Foreign Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement, to benefit both countries by providing a predictable and stable legal framework to increase investor confidence. Both sides agreed on the need to encourage further growth of bilateral trade from its current levels, increasing trade in goods and services in all sectors, including energy and resources, infrastructure, telecommunication and transportation, advanced technology, tourism, agriculture and financial services. Both sides agreed to strengthen the bilateral science and technology relationship. Canada and China also agreed to enhance cooperation on clean energy. Prime Minister Harper announced a second round of funding for the Asia Pacific Partnership on Clean Development and Climate.

Leaders agreed that fostering educational, cultural, business and people-to-people links and promoting mutual understanding between the two peoples will enrich the long-term development of China-Canada relations. Both sides agreed to use the 40th anniversary of diplomatic relations as the opportunity to increase interaction between all sectors of society. China and Canada welcome two new channels to increase people-to-people interaction, through the opening of a new Chinese Consulate General in Montreal, and China’s announcement during the visit of Approved Destination Status for Canada, further promoting the increased flow of tourists, students and business people between the two countries. 

China and Canada have enjoyed increasing judicial and law-enforcement cooperation in recent years, including through the establishment in 2008 of regular bilateral Law Enforcement and Judicial Cooperation Consultations, and through police-to-police cooperation. The two sides reaffirmed their intention to strengthen cooperation on combating transnational crime and repatriating fugitives in accordance with their respective laws. They further agreed to sign a Memorandum of Understanding on Cooperation on Combating Crime at an early date and to enter talks toward the conclusion of an agreement on the sharing of the proceeds of crime. The two sides expressed their intention to maintain communication on these and other related topics for future consideration, with a view to further expanding cooperation in this field. 

The two sides had an in-depth exchange of views on the current global economic and financial situation, and share the assessment that the world economy has shown positive signs of stabilization and recovery, but that this recovery is fragile. The two sides agreed to strengthen dialogue and coordination on macroeconomic and financial policies, steadily reinforce the role of the G20 in global economic governance and support the G20 framework for strong, sustainable, balanced growth. As well, they agreed to continue financial regulatory reform where required, resist protectionism and contribute to the reform of the international financial system. The Chinese side welcomed Canada’s role in 2010 as host of the G20 Summit in June. Both sides expressed readiness to work with other parties to bring about positive outcomes at the Summit. Both sides agreed on the need to work cooperatively and with other partners towards a successful Doha Round at the WTO.

The Canadian side welcomed China’s contribution to regional peace and security through its stewardship of the Six Party Talks process, and expressed the hope that this vehicle to realize the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula would soon be revived. Both sides noted their active roles in Afghanistan, and expressed their desire to see peace, stability and development in Afghanistan, and their intention to continue work towards this end. Both sides agreed that Canada and China have important shared interests in promoting peace and security, as well as sustainable development, regionally and globally. Leaders agreed that coordination and cooperation in fora including the UN, APEC and other multilateral bodies should be enhanced in furtherance of these goals, including in the areas of nuclear security, nuclear non-proliferation and disarmament, food security, global health threats, climate change, and other major international and regional issues. 

The two sides discussed current pressing global health concerns, and the need for increased multilateral and bilateral cooperation in combating newly emerging and re-emerging diseases such as pandemic H1N1 influenza. Both sides also agreed to continue collaborative work on key health issues of importance to both countries, such as reform of the health care system, food safety and public health. Focused and practical cooperation in the field of health should continue to expand. 

The two sides acknowledged that climate change is a common challenge confronting humanity and that international cooperation is key to meeting this challenge. All parties should build on the progress already achieved and work together toward an agreed outcome at the Copenhagen Conference consistent with the principles established by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, particularly the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities, and the Bali Roadmap. Both sides also agreed to enhance their policy dialogue and bilateral cooperation on climate change and on clean energy technologies as a complement to the UNFCCC and its Kyoto Protocol.

Looking to the year ahead, both sides welcomed what will be visible manifestations of a deep-rooted, vibrant and growing Canada-China relationship. The Chinese side noted that the Olympic torch has passed to Canada, and welcomed the approaching Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympic Games, to which China will send a large team of athletes. The Canadian side expressed its support for Shanghai World Expo 2010. Starting in May 2010, the Canada Pavilion at the Shanghai World Expo 2010 will provide large numbers of Chinese citizens the opportunity to visit and enjoy numerous Canadian arts, cultural and other public events, commemorating 40 years of diplomatic relations between the two countries, and continuing to build mutual understanding and friendship between Canada and China.

PMO Press Office: 613-957-5555
December 3, 2009

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