China and Canada attach great importance to developing bilateral relationship and are committed to further promoting this relationship to its full potential, Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper and visiting Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi said in Ottawa on Tuesday.
At a meeting on Ottawa's Parliament Hill, Harper welcomed Yang's visit to Canada. Yang conveyed to Harper the regards from Chinese President Hu Jintao and Premier Wen Jiabao. Harper expressed his appreciation for this and asked Yang to convey his regards to the Chinese president and premier.
Canada-China relations have seen a momentum for further development and improvement, Yang said. Reciprocal visits at high-level and other levels have been on the rise, boosting exchanges and cooperation in all fields, Yang said.
It is proved that the improvement of the bilateral ties accords with the common interests of both countries and both peoples, and also helps promote peace, stability and prosperity in the Asia-Pacific region and the rest of the world, he added.
Yang said that China and Canada should not miss an important opportunity to push their relations further forward at this time when the global financial crisis continues to spread and deepen.
Both countries, which share a broad range of common interests and have a strong foundation for cooperation, are more obliged than ever to strengthen their cooperation, so as to contribute to the early recovery of world economy and effectively cope with various global challenges and outstanding regional issues, he said.
He urged both sides to maintain regular contacts between top officials and officials at other levels, so as to build up mutual understanding and trust, boost dialogues and coordination on important international and regional issues, and expand links in trade and economy as well.
He also called for the proper handling of the issues of Taiwan and Tibet by the Canadian government to guarantee the healthy and stable development of bilateral ties.
The two sides should also boost links between the legislatures, political parties, local governments, academic institutions as well as civil organizations, he suggested.
The Chinese minister noted China and Canada are celebrating the40th anniversary of their diplomatic relations next year, and the two countries should take advantage of the occasion to further boost bilateral ties from this new historic starting point, handling the relations from a strategic height and long-term perspective.
The Canadian prime minister stressed the importance that Canada places on developing relationship with China, and expressed strong optimism in forging closer bilateral ties in the future.
He said that Canada and China share a lot of common views on international and regional issues, and that both countries should and are able to maintain close discussions and cooperation on important international and regional issues.
Harper appreciated the important role China plays in tackling the global financial crisis, and called for closer cooperation between the two countries in this regard.
He also urged China to cooperate with Canada in fighting trade protectionism. "We also need to be very outspoken advocates against protectionism and help trade grow during times like these," he said.
The Chinese foreign minister arrived in Ottawa on Sunday for a two-day official visit at the invitation of his Canadian counterpart Lawrence Cannon. He will leave for New York to attend the June 24-26 UN Conference on the World Financial and Economic Crisis and its Impact on Development later Tuesday.