BEIJING, July 14, 2017 /CNW/ - Today, His Excellency the Right Honourable David Johnston, Governor General of Canada, completed his official visit to the People's Republic of China, from July 10 to 14, 2017, with stops in the cities of Chongqing, Guiyang and Beijing.
The visit's goals of developing new partnerships and strengthening ties between Canada and China in the areas of education and research collaboration, innovation, culture and diversity, agri-food and tourism, were well accomplished.
The Canadian delegation accompanying the Governor General included the Honourable Bardish Chagger, Minister of Small Business and Tourism and Leader of the Government in the House of Commons, and the Honourable Carla Qualtrough, Minister of Sport and Persons with Disabilities, as well as parliamentarians and prominent Canadians of civil society.
They received a warm welcome during high-level meetings with His Excellency Xi Jinping, President of the People's Republic of China; with Premier Li Keqiang; Mr. Cai Qi, the Party Secretary of Beijing; Mr. Sun Zhengcai, the Party Secretary of Chongqing; and Mr. Chen Min'er, the Party Secretary of Guizhou. These meetings helped to strengthen Canada's relationship with China at the national and sub-national levels.
"During this visit, I met with individuals and institutions from a broad cross-section of the Canada-China relationship and heard about their personal experiences of how bilateral co-operation has produced greater common understanding, opportunity and prosperity," said
His Excellency. "The Canada-China relationship is a dynamic web of co-operative linkages that continues to grow year after year."
"While we were in China, we were deeply saddened to hear of the passing of Nobel Peace Prize winner Liu Xiaobo. This news came just hours after my meeting with President Xi, in which I raised concerns about Mr. Liu's condition and treatment," added the Governor General. "Mr. Liu will be remembered for his lifelong commitment to defending human rights."
Here are some of the highlights of the official visit:
EDUCATION AND RESEARCH COLLABORATION
Strengthening education and research collaboration was an important dimension of this official visit. The Governor General and Canadian delegate Paul Davidson, President and Chief Executive Officer of Universities Canada, expressed this desire at a round-table discussion on Science, Technology and Innovation at the University of Chongqing.
In Beijing, His Excellency and Canadian delegates met with Tsingshua University's leadership to highlight how education exchanges are a critical component of the Canada-China relationship and that Canadian research institutions are keen to expand research collaboration with Chinese institutions. This visit concluded with a tour of a joint Canada-China water purification research lab operated by Tsinghua University's School of Environment Engineering and Science, and by Trojan Technologies, a London, Ontario-based clean technology company specializing in UV water treatment. The lab underlines the potential for greater partnerships between Canada and China with respect to clean technology.
The many facets of innovation were at the heart of multiple conversations and events during this official visit. In Chongqing, the Governor General and Canadian delegates visited and inspected a Canadian flight simulator at the China Express Airlines Training Centre to highlight Canada's strengths in aerospace, innovation and safety, especially in such subsectors as flight simulator and regional aircrafts. The Governor General witnessed the commercial signing between TRU Simulation + Training Inc. and China Express Airlines for the purchase of another flight simulator.
The Governor General and Canadian delegates also met with a group of representatives from e-commerce start-ups to explore ways in which Canada and China can further collaborate in this industry.
In Beijing, His Excellency delivered remarks at the Beijing Hospital where a panel discussed senior care. This event helped to strengthen existing health care partnerships between Canadian and Chinese companies and to promote Canada as a partner of choice in developing and implementing senior care solutions to help manage China's ageing population. His Excellency witnessed the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MOU) between Baycrest and Zhonghong Zhuoye Group to partner on the development of an elder care facility in southern China.
CULTURE AND DIVERSITY
His Excellency offered opening remarks at a cultural event entitled Celebrating Our Diversity and Preserving Our Heritage, at the Confucius Theater in Guizhou. Following this, a group of panellists, including Canadian delegate Manon Barbeau, Founder, Director General and Artistic Director of Wapikoni Mobile, discussed themes of relevance to Chinese ethnic minorities and Canadian Indigenous cultures.
In Beijing, His Excellency and the Honourable Carla Qualtrough, Minister of Sport and Persons with Disabilities, met with representatives from One Plus One, a local, non-profit organization that provides services to people with disabilities. The Governor General and the Minister both congratulated the organization on the positive impact it is having on communities.
Following the meeting with President Xi Jinping, the Governor General witnessed the signing of two agreements. The first pertained to the creation of a joint committee on culture and was signed by the Honourable John McCallum, Ambassador of Canada to the People's Republic of China. The second focused on co-operation in the field of winter sports and was signed by Minister Qualtrough.
AGRI-FOOD AND TOURISM
This official visit allowed for fruitful discussions on ways to expand Canada-China relations in the areas of agri-food and tourism. In Chongqing, the Governor General and Canadian delegates enjoyed a hotpot dinner with a group of Chinese students preparing to study in Canada. The dinner featured Canadian beef and seafood products, and took place in a restaurant owned by Morals Village Group, which has five locations in Canada.
In Beijing, the Governor General and Canadian delegates attended an event hosted by JD.com which focused on promoting tourism as well as Canadian food and consumer products available online. His Excellency and Minister Chagger delivered brief remarks at the event. They also witnessed the signing of a co-operation agreement between Destination Canada and JD.com. This agreement, which further promotes Canadian food products and showcases Canada as a tourist destination, was signed by Canadian delegate David F. Goldstein, President and Chief Executive Officer of Destination Canada.
Finally, in true Canadian fashion, His Excellency played a friendly game of hockey with a youth group in Beijing. Also present at the game were two female players from the Kunlun Red Star. The following four agreements were signed during the event: an MOU between Hockey Canada/Canada 2022 Group and Beijing Cultural Investment Development Company to build capacity in hockey development in China; a commercial agreement between CTC Group and CISB for the joint development of a winter sports facility; a commercial agreement between CTC Group and PAN China Sports on various projects for the 2022 winter Olympics; and an agreement that the Kunlun Red Star hockey team will join the Canadian Women's Hockey League next season. This event helped to raise Canada's profile as a preferred partner for China in promoting winter sports and preparing to host the 2022 Winter Olympics.
For the detailed itinerary, list of Canadian delegates, photos and videos of the Official Visit to the People's Republic of China, visit www.gg.ca and the Twitter and Facebook pages of the Governor General.
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SOURCE Governor General of Canada
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