Enhancing Mutual Trust is Essential to Move Forward China-Canada Strategic Partnership

On Dec. 15, Vancouver Sun and the Province published an article written by Chinese Consul General TONG Xiaoling, calling for China and Canada to enhance mutual trust, fully tap potential in bilateral cooperation and move forward the China-Canada Strategic Partnership. Here is the full text:

From December 3 to 7,2017, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau paid an official visit to China. Chinese President Xi Jinping, Chairman Zhang Dejiang of the Standing Committee of China's National People's Congress, and Vice Premier Wang Yang met with him respectively during the visit. Chinese Premier Li Keqiang held annual dialogue with him, and after the dialogue, they witnessed the signing of bilateral cooperation agreements in several fields, such as education, food safety and energy, and announced China would increase the import of beef and pork from Canada, and the two sides will further discuss the quarantine standard for canola exported to China, Prime Minister Trudeau also attended the Fortune Global Forum 2017, visited Chinese social media giant Sina Weibo’s HQ and Beijing SinoHytec Co.,Ltd, a state-level high-tech enterprise established in 2004, focusing on hydrogen fuel cell engine R & D and industrialization.

Both sides spoke highly of the development of bilateral ties and appreciated the positive impact of the annual dialogue of the two government leaders and the annual meeting of foreign ministers, as well as the high-level talks on economic and financial strategy, national security and the rule of law. Both sides agreed to issue the joint statement on climate change and clean growth, establish ministerial dialogues on those issues, and strengthen cooperation on key areas such as climate change and coordination within multilateral frameworks, so as to yield more results under the framework of the China-Canada strategic partnership.

Both sides agreed to facilitate globalization, safeguard trade and investment liberalization and facilitation, and jointly study the feasibility of a China-Canada free trade agreement with an open and pragmatic attitude.

President XI Jinping stressed that enhancing political trust is the prerequisite to the stable development of state-to-state relations. China and Canada, though having different political systems, could respect each other and seek common ground while reserving differences. Xi encouraged the two countries to strengthen cooperation and expand exchanges to bring more benefits to the people of both countries.

“China and Canada need to fully tap potential and create more bright spots in cooperation in areas such as energy resources, science and innovation, aviation, finance, modern agriculture and clean technology,” Xi said. He also called on both sides to intensify exchanges and deepen relations on education, culture, tourism and sports. He said the two countries need to work together to hold a successful China-Canada Year of Tourism in 2018, adding that China is willing to learn from Canada on hosting Winter Olympic Games. “China will continue to support capable Chinese enterprises in investing in Canada and welcome Canadian enterprises to take an active part in Belt and Road Initiative.”

Mutual understanding is the prerequisite to mutual trust and bilateral cooperation. The 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China (CPC)was successfully held in Beijing recently, which proposed to build a community with a shared future for mankind. To understand China, one need understand the origin of China’s sincere desire of building a community with a shared future for mankind. The Chinese civilization, with a history of over 5,000 years, has always cherished peace and believes that everyone belongs to one family in a united world. China has always held that all countries, regardless of their size, strength or level of development, are equal in international relations. It respects the right of the people of all countries to independently choose their development path; recognizes the differences in their cultures and traditions, social systems, values and concepts of development; and promotes different civilizations learning from one another's models of development for common development. And it opposes the attempt to use one single model to gauge our rich and varied world. China is willing to create opportunities for the world through China's development, and to explore the law of social development for humanity and share it with other countries. China would neither import foreign models of development nor export the Chinese model. It will not ask other countries to copy the Chinese practice. No matter what stage of development it reaches, China will never seek hegemony or engage in expansion.

Nowadays, people of all countries live under the same sky and the world is a family to us all. The prospects and destinies of every nation and country are connected, with weal and woe shared. All countries’ efforts are needed to build an open, inclusive, clean and beautiful world that enjoys lasting peace, universal security, and common prosperity. It is with such senses of obligation and responsibility, that China raises the proposal of building a community with a shared future for mankind, aiming to make more contribution to advance the progressive cause of humanity. China is willing to make joint efforts with all other countries to build a more beautiful world.

To understand China, one need understand its concept of development that puts the people in the center. At the CPC 19th National Congress held in October, Mr. Xi Jinping, General Secretary of the CPC delivered a working report on behalf of the 18th CPC Central Committee, released the Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era and drew a blueprint of new development for China. General Secretary Xi mentioned the word “People” more than 200 times in his report. He pointed out that, Chinese people have an ardent love for life. They wish to have better education, more stable jobs, more income, greater social security, better medical and health care, improved housing conditions and a better environment. They want their children to have sound growth, have good jobs and lead a more enjoyable life. To meet their desire for a happy life is mission of the CPC and China. The Party and country must ensure that development is for the people and relies on the people, and that its fruits are shared among the people, so as to achieve the goal of common prosperity. The objective of friendly cooperation between China and Canada is also for the two peoples. We should work together to ensure that the pragmatic cooperation between the two countries bring tangible benefits to the two peoples.

To understand China, one need understand its strategy of openness for mutual benefits and win-win cooperation. History has taught us that closed-door development will get nowhere, while open development is the only right choice. Next year will mark the 40th anniversary of China’s reform and opening-up. In nearly four decades, China has opened its arms to embrace the world and achieved “leapfrog development” of itself in this process. Looking ahead, China will open even wider and its development will deliver even greater benefits to the rest of the world. Starting from next year, China will hold an International Import Expo, providing a new platform of mutually beneficial cooperation to all countries to better share the opportunities of China’s development.We look forward to working closely with Canada, to advance trade and investment liberalization and facilitation, build an open economy, uphold and strengthen the multilateral trading regime, and help re-balance economic globalization.

Canada may refer to the Australia and New Zealand for reference. According to Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade in September, 2017, the export of wine to China has increased by 33% since the China-Australia Free Trade Agreement came into effect in December, 2015. China now is the largest market for Australian Wine. In 2019, when the customs duties reduce to zero, Australia will enjoy a 25% more market share than France. In New Zealand, the total export of frozen beef and mutton to China in 2016 reaches NZ$ 1 billion, 5 times that of 2011. Chinese banks committed to provide a loan of US$1.1 trillion for local infrastructure. Soon, China will become the biggest source of tourists for New Zealand with 913,000 Chinese tourists travelling to the country per year. New Zealand also pays close attention to China’s NZ$ 38-billion worth gaming market, soon-to-be the worlds’ largest one. China and New Zealand has finished the 3rd round of negotiations to upgrade free trade agreement.

To understand China, one need understand the Chinese path of human rights development suitable to China’s national circumstances. As an integral part of any country’s economic and social development, human rights must be advanced in light of specific national circumstances and people’s needs. We need to respect the path of human rights development chosen by the people themselves, and pursue constructive dialogue to properly handle differences and jointly explore effective ways to promote and protect human rights. Different countries, civilizations and ethnicities should communicate as equals, learn from and complement each other, and make progress together. The past and present have proved that dialogue and cooperation works better than confrontation, and that exchange and mutual learning works better than finger-pointing. China is committed to advancing human rights. The Constitution of China safeguards and protects human rights. While striving to improve human rights of its own people, China is also contributing to human rights development in the world. We value suggestions from all countries, however, no one should politicize human rights or interfere in other countries’ internal affairs under the pretext of human rights. China will continue to bear in mind its own national conditions, adopt a people-centered approach, give top priority to development, promote rule of law and derive impetus from opening-up. China will unwaveringly stay committed to the path of human rights development with Chinese characteristics in a new era, foster the Chinese concept of human rights featuring core socialist values, connect China’s development with that of the world, and work to help improve the cause of human rights to build a better world for the common good.

China and Canada share profound traditional friendship. Dr. Norman Bethune came to China during the World Anti-Fascist War, saved many lives through operations and helped train medical staff. Mr. Alvin Hamilton, Former Canadian Agriculture Minister supported the export of wheat to China in the 1960s Great Famine. Former Canadian Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau established diplomatic ties with China in 1970. With the recognition of the Chinese Canadians’ contribution to Canada, the Canadian government eliminated head tax, grant Chinese Canadians right to vote and accept them as part of Canada’s multicultualism. Gratitude is a traditional virtue of the Chinese nation. As a Chinese saying goes,“when drinking water from the well, one should not forget who dug it”. We will never forget the forerunners who worked tirelessly to restore the bilateral relations and the people from all quarters who have made unrelenting efforts to advance China-Canada friendly cooperation. Chinese philosophy believes that “In hard time, try to seek self-development; while in success, try to let others be benefited.” Every nation has a right for development and should consider its national interest under a broader global circumstances.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said,“A strong relationship with China is essential to creating jobs, strengthening the middle class, and growing the Canadian economy.”, while announcing his visit to China. China is the 2nd largest economy in the world. In 2017, China contributes more than 30% of global growth. In the coming 15 years, China is expected to import goods worth US$ 24 trillion, attract foreign direct investment worth US$ 2trillion, and invest US$ 2 trillion in overseas markets. China is BC’s second largest trade partner, import source and export market. British Columbia, as Canada’s Pacific Gateway, has benefited from free trade and market diversification. We wish the governments at all levels and people from all walks of life in both countries, to tell more stories of mutually beneficial cooperation, provide more positive and truthful information for the public, enhance more mutual trust, so as to continuously move forward the China-Canada strategic partnership.

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