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Baird to Make Visit to China’s Interior Cities

October 9, 2013 - Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird today announced that his current trip to Asia will include a visit to China, beginning October 9, 2013, for a series of meetings with government officials and business leaders.

“China is witnessing the migration of hundreds of millions of rural citizens to rapidly rising cities,” said Baird. “As the face of China changes, we must adjust our diplomatic and trade relations accordingly.”

Baird will begin his trip in two of the megacities in the interior, Chengdu and Chongqing, where he will meet with government officials and business leaders on October 10. From October 11 to 13, Baird will be in Shanghai to meet with leading public-policy experts.

From October 16 to 18, Baird will be in Beijing, where he will deepen relationships with senior Chinese leaders.

“Throughout this visit, I will continue to promote not just Canadian interests but also our values, including the promotion of human rights and religious freedom,” added Baird. “China’s rising cities represent a wealth of challenge and opportunity for Canada, and the strong Canadian delegation in China this week will represent our interests well.”

This year marks the 43rd anniversary of diplomatic relations between Canada and China. The relationship is also marked by extensive people-to-people ties, with more than 1.5 million persons of Chinese origin residing in Canada and more than 84,000 Chinese students studying at Canadian educational institutions in 2012. Baird last travelled to China in July 2013.

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