Foreign and Military Affairs

Chinese embassy in Canada marks national day

Updated: 2010-10-01 16:43
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OTTAWA -- Chinese ambassador to Canada Lan Lijun hosted a grand reception Thursday to mark the 61st anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China and 40 years of Sino-Canadian diplomatic relations.

Speaker of the Canadian Senate Noel Kinsella, Speaker of the Canadian House of Commons Peter Milliken, Canadian Minister of Foreign Affairs Laurence Cannon, Canadian Chief of the Defense Staff General Walt Natynczyk were among more than 400 guests at the reception held in the Chinese Embassy.

In his opening remarks, Lan said that China had gone through historic and profound changes since its founding in 1949, and its overall national strength had substantially increased and the livelihood of its people had markedly improved.

China's GDP has become the second largest in the world this year. however, Lan noted that China is fairly advanced in some areas of development but remains backward in many others.

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"Facing unprecedented challenges brought by problems both old and new, China remains to be a developing country and still has a long way to achieve its modernization," he added.

Lan highly spoke of the strategic decision by leaders of China and Canada on October 13, 1970 to establish diplomatic relations "to open a new chapter in their relations."

The two-way trade has jumped from 150 million dollars in 1970 to 29.7 billion dollars in 2009, making China Canada's second largest trading partner and third largest export market.

Lan expected that China and Canada would expand and further advance on their strategic partnership from the new starting point.

Canadian Foreign Minister Cannon recalled that the Canadian Wheat Board made the "icebreaker" initiative In 1961, which was an important step in the evolution of Canadians' relationship with the people of China

"Today, the strategic partnership between Canada and China is flourishing,"  he said.

Cannon looks forward to returning to China and witnessing the success of the Shanghai World Expo and the Canadian Pavilion.

In half a year since last December when Prime Minister Stephen Harper visited China, Chinese President Hu Jintao visited Canada in efforts to strengthen the bilateral relationship.

Cannon noted that Harper and Hu had affirmed their commitment to look for ways to make the strong economic partnership between the two sides even stronger.