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Yang Jiechi Delivers a Speech at the Luncheon Held by the Canada China Business Council

On June 23, 2009, Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi, who is on a visit to Canada, attended a luncheon held by the Canada China Business Council and delivered a speech.

In his speech, Yang said China and Canada established diplomatic ties in 1970, which made Canada one of the first western countries to establish diplomatic relations with the People's Republic of China. Despite some twists and turns, the China-Canada relationship has been generally improving and growing over the past 39 years, said Yang. With the joint efforts of generations of leaders and people from all walks of life of the two countries, both sides have witnessed increasing exchanges at high and other levels, expanding exchange area and enhanced cooperation level. Both sides have established more than 40 cooperation mechanisms in a wide variety of areas including economy, trade, justice, law enforcement, energy, environmental protection, science, education, culture and health and worked more closely in the United Nations and other multilateral mechanisms. The trade relations between the two countries have developed from a single commodity trade into all-round, inter-sphere and multivariate cooperation.

Yang pointed out that the development process of China-Canada relations shows that although the two countries differ in national conditions and do not always see eye to eye on everything, these differences shouldn't stand in the way of the relations. Countries with different cultures and social systems should respect each other, seek common ground while reserving differences and draw on each other's merits for common development. It is important to respect the world diversity, people's right to choose development paths of their own countries, and not to interfere in other countries' internal affairs, Yang said. By following these principles, China and Canada can firmly stick to the correct direction of bilateral ties and push for healthy, stable development of bilateral ties.

The world has undergone significant changes, said Yang. He called on Canada and China to view the world and their relations from a new perspective. China and Canada are respectively the largest developing country and largest developed country in terms of territory. The two countries share no fundamental conflict of interests, but broad common interests and a sound basis for cooperation. Under the current circumstances, Yang said, there is more reason for China and Canada to closely cooperate and help the world economy to recover at an early date. He called for joint efforts of both sides to cope with global challenges so as to bring more benefits to the two peoples and people of the world.

Yang suggested the two nations maintain exchanges at high and other levels and increase political trust, to tap potential and further expand pragmatic cooperation, to respect and accommodate each other's concerns and properly handle sensitive issues, and to invigorate people-to-people, cultural exchanges especially youth contacts and build up mutual understanding and friendship between both peoples.

Next year is the 40th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties between China and Canada, said Yang. China is ready to work with Canada from a strategic and long-term perspective and take the opportunity of the 40th anniversary of the diplomatic ties to create a brighter future of China-Canada relationship.

Following the luncheon, Yang and his delegation concluded their two-day official visit to Canada and left Ottawa for New York, the United States, to attend the UN Conference on the World Financial and Economic Crisis and its Impact on Development slated on June 24-26.

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