(No. 207 – July 20 – 8:30 a.m. ET) John Baird, Canada’s Foreign Affairs Minister, today concluded a successful trip to China with stops in Beijing and Shanghai. This was his first visit to China as foreign affairs minister.
While in China, Minister Baird met with his Chinese counterpart, Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi, to discuss bilateral and multilateral issues of importance to both countries and to pursue Canada’s priorities with regard to China.
"Canadians gave our government a strong mandate to create jobs and secure Canada’s economic recovery,” said Minister Baird. "Canada and China can both benefit from closer and deeper ties.”
Minister Baird also met with Executive Vice-Premier Li Keqiang and other senior officials to seek cooperation in education, trade and investment, global and regional security, and governance issues, including protection of human rights.
On the topic of human rights, the Minister stated, "We had frank and constructive discussions, and I specifically highlighted the priority that the Canadian people place on religious freedom and freedom of expression.”
Minister Baird met with representatives of Canadian companies doing business in China to highlight the contribution that Canada has made to China’s economic development and to increase Canada’s visibility as a world leader in technology and innovation. He delivered remarks to prominent members of Shanghai’s business community, underscoring Canada’s role as one of China’s most dynamic trading partners and promoting Canada as a destination for Chinese investment.
"I am delighted to have completed my first visit to China as minister of foreign affairs. The aim of this trip was to advance Canada’s strategic partnership with a country that is both a clear priority for our government and important to our economy.
"I look forward to continuing to build a partnership with China that advances our common interests, Canadian values and the friendship between the peoples of our two countries," said Minister Baird.
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