Prime Minister Trudeau welcomes Premier Li and Mrs. Cheng at the Canadian Museum of History
THE RIGHT HONOURABLE JUSTIN TRUDEAU (Prime Minister of Canada): Dear friends, good evening. Good evening everyone. Thank you so much for being here. I just wanted to take this opportunity to say a few brief words in honour of our guest Premier Li. I’d first like to thank the Premier for being with us for a few days on an official visit. Sophie and I are extremely pleased to be able to receive both you and your wife after we were so warmly welcomed to China just a few weeks ago.
The Premier and I have a few things in common. Yes, our love of hockey is one thing, but more importantly, we share a vision for a stronger Canada and a stronger China. And we realized that those objectives are deeply interconnected.
Last month has been an especially important month in renewing the relationship between our two countries. Sophie and I were fortunate enough to spend over a week in China along with our daughter Ella Grace, and our entire Canadian delegation. The hospitality extended to us by the Premier and the Chinese delegation was tremendously gracious and truly appreciated.
So it’s our great honour to return the favour to you, Premier Li, during your time here with us here in Canada.
I was thinking about it and I grew up in this city as a child and one of the things I remember well was my father bringing us to the NAC, the National Arts Centre, as little children to see the circus. And I didn’t quite understand how they were going to fit elephants and trapeze artists and clowns in bumper cars on the stage of the National Arts Centre which is obviously smaller than this one. But then he explained that we were going to see the Chinese circus. And I discovered the wonders of acrobats and beautiful, moving performances. And it’s with that thought that I’m very, very pleased to be able to tell you all that we will be graced here tonight by a Canadian twist on the Chinese circus which is in the way things come full circle.
Now, also partly a Chinese circus, the great Canadian Cirque du Soleil that will be performing for us – will be sharing a performance with us here tonight. And when I was in China we were talking with the investors in the Cirq and everyone is very excited about that example of China-Canada collaboration of which we will see an example tonight.
But during our meetings in Beijing and today in Ottawa, the Premier and I had many great conversations about our goals to strengthen the Canada-China partnership. And we’ve made some real progress on a number of important issues during some very frank and honest conversations.
During our meetings in Beijing and today here in Ottawa, Premier Li and I spoke about our goal to deepen relations between our countries. And we’ve made some real progress on a number of issues during our frank and honest conversations.
We know that there is tremendous untapped potential between our new countries and we’re committed to deepening our ties for the benefit of our citizens, but it’s not something one does alone. You build on work done by generations past – and I’m so pleased to be able to highlight former Prime Minister Jean Chretien who always was a very good friend to China and understood the potential and the hard work that could be done to bring our businesses and our people closer together.
Thank you for being here, Mr. Premier.
And we’re also joined by a number of people who understand deeply the need to engage more and better with China, and that is our provincial premiers. A number of them are here tonight as well and it’s wonderful to see you all understanding and committing to deepening this friendship as well because we need to work at all levels together.
Indeed, we’re entering a new era in the Canada-China friendship. One grounded in collaboration and mutual suspect… mutual respect. And while we won’t agree on everything – I guess that’s where I was going—and while we won’t agree on everything, we can always find common ground in what we want for our people: economic growth, job creation, and always, a more prosperous middle class.
So with that, I’d very much like to propose a toast.
To cooperation, to prosperity, and to friendship.
Thank you very much, everyone, and have a great evening.