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China to forge stable partnership with Canada in energy sector, Premier Wen
2012/02/08

BEIJING, Feb. 8 (Xinhua) -- Premier Wen Jiabao on Wednesday urged the forging of a long-term, stable and diversified partnership with Canada in the energy and resource sector.

"The negotiation on China-Canada investment protection agreement has concluded. We hope to sign the important document as soon as possible to facilitate two-way investment," Wen told visiting Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper in the Great Hall of the People.

Harper came to Beijing Tuesday for his second China visit since taking office in 2006.

Calling the two economies highly compatible, Wen proposed to draw up an all-round plan on boosting bilateral economic cooperation based on joint research on economic complementarities.

He also urged discussions on the feasibility of signing a China-Canada free trade agreement.

"China is ready to expand imports of energy and resource products from Canada and enhance cooperation in clean and renewable energy, energy-saving, environmental protection, and the peaceful use of nuclear energy," Wen said.

The two countries should also explore cooperation in the areas of the judiciary, culture, technology, agriculture, finance and the polar ocean, he added.

Harper, who is bringing a large business delegation to China, said Canada welcomes China to expand investment in his country and expects closer bilateral cooperation in trade, energy, resources, finance and culture.

He vowed closer coordination with China in global and regional affairs and to boost bilateral ties to a new level.

Harper told Wen that Canada-China relations are long-lasting with strategic ties based on mutual respect.

Wen spoke positively of the growth of China-Canada relations since the forging of diplomatic ties in November 1970, citing frequent high-level exchanges, enhanced two-way trade and investment, and increasing exchanges in the areas of culture, education and technology.

"Under the new circumstances, the two countries should implement the consensus reached in the China-Canada joint statement, maintain mutual respect, equality and non-interference in each other's internal affairs and beef up understanding through dialogue," Wen said.

The China-Canada joint statement was issued during Harper's last China visit in 2009.

Prior to the talks, Wen hosted a welcome ceremony for Harper. They also witnessed the signing of several bilateral agreements regarding cooperation in trade, technology, education, forestry, energy and agriculture areas.

Besides Beijing, Harper will also visit south Guangdong province and the southwest municipality of Chongqing during his five-day trip.

Canada and China celebrated their 40th anniversary of diplomatic relations in 2010. China is Canada's second-largest trading partner and a key customer for Canadian natural resources and agricultural products.

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