Strengthening Canada-China Relations Through Sport

The Honourable Carla Qualtrough, Minister of Sport and Persons with Disabilities, traveled to China to sign a Memorandum of Understanding on Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games cooperation with China's State General Administration of Sports

BEIJING, July 14, 2017 /CNW/ - Throughout the world, sport has the power to unite us, transform lives and build healthy communities.

His Excellency the Right Honourable David Johnston, Governor General of Canada, and the Honourable Carla Qualtrough, Minister of Sport and Persons with Disabilities, were in Beijing from July 12 to 14, 2017.

During this trip, Minister Qualtrough signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the People's Republic of China regarding the Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games, which will allow for greater cooperation between the two countries leading up to the 2022 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games in Beijing. It will allow for the sharing of best practices in the area of major games, and will open the door to exchanges between Canadian and Chinese sport organizations.

The MOU will also allow Canada to internationally promote its position on, and support for, the rights of persons with disabilities, as well as the inclusion and development of persons with a disability in sport. In turn, Canada will provide guidance regarding its successful programs in sports such as ice hockey, figure skating, curling and freestyle skiing.

In addition, the MOU supports the ongoing development and strengthening of Canada's bilateral relations with China. Through the use of sport, Canada can collaborate with China on further activities that contribute to other Government of Canada priorities, such as trade and commercial objectives, and the promotion of human rights.  


"This visit to China has given the Government of Canada the opportunity to further strengthen ties with China and make progress in the area of winter sport. We look forward to ongoing cooperation with the People's Republic of China as we share our knowledge and experience in winter sport and the Olympic and Paralympic Games."

—The Honourable Carla Qualtrough, Minister of Sport and Persons with Disabilities

Quick Facts

  • This MOU is non-binding under international law, but is a vehicle for facilitating cooperation between the two countries in the area of winter games and sports.
  • The MOU facilitates exchanges with China for all sport organizations in Canada. It will be up to each organization to decide if and how they wish to benefit from this MOU.
  • The MOU is supported by the China Disabled Persons' Federation. It commits to the promotion of sport for persons with disabilities and the Paralympic movement in China.

Associated Links

Sport Canada

The Governor General of Canada



The CanadaChina Memorandum of Understanding on Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games Cooperation

In September 2016, the Premier of the State Council of the People's Republic of China, Li Keqiang, made his first official visit to Canada. During this visit, he and the Prime Minister of Canada, the Right Honourable Justin Trudeau, announced bilateral initiatives aimed at expanding Canada–China relations, such as strengthening cooperation in winter sports ahead of the Beijing 2022 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games. This commitment led to the development of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the governments of Canada and China on Olympic and Paralympic Games cooperation, signed on July 13, 2017.

Other sport-specific benefits of establishing the MOU could include:

  • opportunities for Canadian coaches and athletes to train in China in advance of the 2022 Winter Games, providing an increased familiarization with Games environment;
  • opportunities for the Canadian host city, as well as host governments to learn from the 2022 Games, in the event of a Canadian bid to host the 2026 Winter Games; and
  • opportunities for identifying and undertaking additional knowledge-building activities to address specific sport-related knowledge and expertise gaps for the Canadian government and sport organizations.

The People's Republic of China has developed a five-year plan (2016–2020) to increase public fitness, with extra attention paid to winter sports. The Government of China has publicly pledged to leverage the 2022 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games to increase participation in winter sports by 300 million people.   


SOURCE Canadian Heritage

For further information: (media only), please contact: Ashley Michnowski, Press Secretary, Office of the Minister of Sport and Persons with Disabilities, 613-697-8016,; Media Relations, Canadian Heritage, 819-994-9101, 1-866-569-6155,


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