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Canada and China strengthen relationshipCanada and China strengthen relationship

Leaders announce initiatives designed to grow their shared prosperity.

December 6, 2017

3 Min Read
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau shakes hands with Chinese Premier Li Keqiang during a press conference at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing.Lintao Zhang/GettyImages

Canada and China are working to build a stronger, more stable relationship to create good, middle-class jobs and more opportunities for people in both countries.

With that goal in mind, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Li Keqiang, Chinese premier, announced new initiatives to grow their shared prosperity following the second annual Leaders’ Dialogue.

“Increasing trade and investment with our partners in the Asia-Pacific region is essential if we are to create long-term prosperity and an economy that creates jobs and works for the middle class,” said Francois-Philippe Champagne, Canada’s Minister of International Trade. “China is Canada’s second largest trading partner, and its vast market offers significant opportunities for Canadian businesses of all sizes. It is time for a more strategic, long-term, and comprehensive approach to economic engagement with China.”

Climate change

The two leaders issued the Joint Statement on Climate Change and Clean Growth which highlights the ongoing bilateral collaboration and the potential for enhanced engagement. The two countries will also expand cooperation and increase ministerial dialogue to promote clean growth and combat climate change by fully implementing the Paris Agreement.

“I am proud of the ongoing collaboration between Canada and China on climate change and the environment,” said Catherine McKenna, Canada’s Minister of Environment and Climate Change. “Canada and China understand the need to protect our environment for future generations and the economic opportunity of clean growth. Environmental protection is key to our progressive trade agenda and will provide even greater opportunities for businesses to provide innovative solutions for clean air, water and soil that will lead to good, middle-class jobs and prosperity in both countries. Canada and China are committed to work together to provide global leadership on combatting climate change through implementation of the Paris Agreement.” 

Areas of agreement

Both countries agreed to increase collaboration on agriculture and tourism, which will include expanding market access to give Canadian producers new opportunities to enhance their competitiveness. They also committed to supporting more opportunities for youth and student exchanges, such as internships at Canadian missions in China. 

To strengthen the cultural and economic relationship between Canada and China, both countries agreed to co-chair the inaugural meeting of the Canada-China Joint Committee on Culture in Ottawa, in February 2018, to discuss matters of mutual interest, including creative industries and the arts. 

Finally, the two leaders discussed important regional issues, including North Korea and Myanmar. Both sides agreed to maintain a dialogue on human rights on the basis of equality and mutual respect, and to expand practical cooperation and exchanges, including on the rule of law, and to address their differences constructively.

Quick facts

  • China is Canada’s second-largest trading partner, largest and fastest growing source market for international students, and third-largest source of tourists.

  • Canada’s merchandise exports to China were almost $21 billion in 2016, an increase of 4% over 2015, with top exports being forest and agricultural products, copper and iron ores, and motor vehicles.

  • In 2016, Canada and China agreed to designate 2018 the Canada-China Year of Tourism, which includes initiatives to increase the flow of tourists and promote cultural activities.

Source: Canadian Embassy

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