Canada Celebrates 40th Anniversary of Diplomatic Relations with China

(No. 334 - October 13, 2010 - 3:00 p.m. ET) The Honourable Lawrence Cannon, Minister of Foreign Affairs, today issued the following statement marking the 40th anniversary of Canada-China diplomatic ties:

“On behalf of the Government of Canada, I would like to mark the 40th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Canada and the People’s Republic of China.

“The friendship that underlies Canada-China relations dates back to the 19th century, when Canadian missionaries worked with local communities in China to build schools and medical clinics. This friendship was reinforced in 1961, when Canada and China negotiated an unprecedented deal that led to the export of $362 million worth of Canadian grain to China.”

“Relations between Canada and China continued to improve, and formal diplomatic relations were established in October 1970. Today, the strategic partnership between Canada and China is flourishing. Canada is engaged in a frank, friendly and forward-looking relationship with China. China is Canada’s second-largest two-way trading partner. In addition to our embassy in Beijing, we have consulates in Shanghai, Guangzhou, Hong Kong and Chongqing and, as of 2009, six new trade offices in Chengdu, Nanjing, Qingdao, Shenyang, Shenzhen and Wuhan.

“The priority that Canada places on its relations with China has been demonstrated by the intense pace of high-level visits in the past few years. More than 30 ministerial visits to China, including that of Prime Minister Stephen Harper, have taken place since 2006.

During Prime Minister Harper’s visit in 2009, China announced its granting of approved destination status for Canada, which was recently implemented and allows for increased flows of tourists, students and business people between the two countries.

“In Ottawa this past June, Prime Minister Harper and President Hu Jintao affirmed their commitment to deepening our economic partnership. Looking forward, we are confident that the next 40 years will lead to a more vibrant and productive relationship.”

Throughout 2010, the governments of Canada and China have held cultural, academic, and commercial events to mark the 40th anniversary of formal diplomatic ties between the two countries.

For information on forthcoming events, please visit Canada in China.

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For further information, media representatives may contact:

Melissa Lantsman
Office of the Minister of Foreign Affairs
613-995-1851

Foreign Affairs Media Relations Office
Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada
613-995-1874