Prime Minister Stephen Harper today confirmed Canada’s commitment to strengthening relations with China, following bilateral discussions with Hu Jintao, President of China. The two leaders witnessed the signing of new initiatives and reiterated their intent to deepen the linkages between Canada and China. Significantly, China has announced that Canada is now the first Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE)-affected country to regain staged market access for beef to China
“This visit by President Hu confirms that the Canada-China strategic partnership is gaining momentum as we mark 40 years of diplomatic relations and chart a course for the future”, said Prime Minister Harper. “Today’s bilateral signings and the hundreds of thousands of Chinese citizens visiting Canada’s Expo 2010 Pavilion in Shanghai are signs that relations between our countries are flourishing.”
Building on the December 2009 Canada-China Joint Statement, Prime Minister Harper and President Hu witnessed the signing of several Memoranda of Understanding designed to strengthen relations between Canada and China in a broad range of areas. These include:
- A Cooperative Arrangement that re-opens the Chinese market for beef and beef products based on a staged approach, beginning with Canadian boneless beef derived from animals under thirty months of age (UTM) and beef tallow for industrial use.
- A Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to facilitate group travel from China to Canada, which cements Canada's Approved Destination Status.
- A Memorandum of Understanding to form an Environmental Protection and Energy Conservation Working Group that will focus on commercial cooperation in the environment and clean energy sector.
- A Memorandum of Understanding on Cooperation on Combating Crime.
In the area of commerce, the leaders instructed officials to explore means of deepening the Canada-China economic partnership by establishing a working group under the Joint Economic and Trade Committee.
In the area of culture, Prime Minister Harper expressed Canada’s pleasure that negotiations will soon begin to secure a long-term loan of a pair of giant pandas to Canada and that the world-famous Terracotta Warriors will be on exhibit at the Royal Ontario Museum beginning June 26.