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Canadian PM Harper congratulates Chinese year of dragon

(Xinhua)

09:29, January 21, 2012

OTTAWA, Jan. 20 (Xinhua) -- The Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper issued a statement on Friday to extend his best wishes to those in Canada and around the world celebrating Chinese New Year of the Dragon which falls on January 23.

"This is a time to celebrate the accomplishments of the past year and Chinese Canadians certainly have much to be proud of, making significant contributions to our country in all areas of endeavor," he said. "This has been true throughout the over 150 years of Chinese settlement in Canada."

Harper said this celebration is also a time to look forward to a new year of happiness and success.

"Our Government's New Year's commitment is to continue working hard on the economy and creating the jobs and economic opportunities that will help ensure that the Year of the Dragon will indeed be a year of prosperity and well being," he added.

On behalf of his wife Laureen and their son and daughter, Harper used four Chinese words in his statement to express the idea of Happy New Year.

Canada contains one of the largest populations of overseas Chinese, and has the second largest population of Chinese people outside of Asia, after the United States.

People of Chinese descent, including mixed Chinese and other ethnic origin, make up about four percent of the Canadian population, or about 1.3 million people. Most of them are concentrated within the provinces of British Columbia and Ontario.

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