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President Hu Jintao Meets with Canadian Prime Minister Harper

On July 9, 2008, Chinese President Hu Jintao met with Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper in Toyako, Hokkaido.

Hu thanked Harper for sending letters of condolences following the devastating earthquake that struck China's southwestern Sichuan province in May. The Chinese president also expressed his gratitude to the Canadian government and people for their condolences and generous assistance.

China's relations with Canada have developed smoothly in general since the two countries established diplomatic ties in 1970, and bilateral exchanges and cooperation have yielded remarkable achievements, said Hu. Differences over some issues are inevitable, as the economic development level, social system and culture between the two countries vary, the Chinese president said. However, the two sides should abide by the principle of respect for national sovereignty and territorial integrity, non-interference in each other's internal affairs, equality and mutual benefits and view bilateral ties from a strategic and long-term perspective, he added. Hu urged both sides to bear in mind the overall development of China-Canada strategic partnership. The two countries should make maximum use of their potential for cooperation, take care of their respective concerns and properly handle sensitive issues and differences, so as to ensure a healthy and stable growth of bilateral relations.

Hu pointed out that China-Canada relations should be based on building up mutual political trust. China and Canada should bring into full play their complementary advantages in trade and economy, as well as the enthusiasm from the business circles, in order to expand their economic cooperation and bring tangible benefits for the two peoples, Hu said. Both sides should also promote exchanges and cooperation in humanities areas and strengthen communication on major international and regional issues, he added.

Echoing Hu's views on bilateral ties, Harper said Canada, which highly values the development of Sino-Canadian ties, is ready to open comprehensive dialogues with China on the basis of mutual respect. He expressed hope that the two countries would strengthen cooperation in such fields as environmental protection, investment, science and technology, health and tourism and endeavor to make greater progress on the existing basis.

Hu welcomed Canadian athletes and spectators to come to Beijing for the Olympic Games in August and wished Canadian athletes outstanding performance at the games. Harper wished the Beijing Olympic Games a great success.

Ling Jihua, member of the Secretariat of the CPC Central Committee (CPCCC) and Director of the General Office of the CPC Central Committee, Wang Huning, member of the Secretariat of the CPC Central Committee (CPCCC) and Director of the Policy Research Office of the CPC Central Committee, and State Councilor Dai Bingguo attended the meeting.

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