Bilateral relations between Canada and China

The Canada-China relationship is a vast and dynamic web of cooperative linkages and undertakings, dating from well before the establishment of diplomatic relations in 1970 and growing continuously year on year. Canada's long-standing and comprehensive relationship with the People's Republic of China operates at many levels and in many areas, including in trade, governance, health,development, education and culture. Bilateral cooperation is strong – many Canadian government departments have productive cooperation programs and memoranda of understanding with their Chinese counterparts, and hold regular exchanges at various levels. Both countries enjoy an active working relationship in international fora, such as the G20, UN, APEC, and WTO.

Strong people-to-people ties exist between the two countries: over 1.3 million Canadian residents are of Chinese origin, with well over 60,000 Chinese students at Canadian educational institutions. Chinese is Canada's third most spoken language after English and French, and immigrants born in China (including the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region) form one of the largest groups within Canada's immigrant population. Those ties are reflected in the numerous twinning partnerships at the provincial and municipal levels.

Increased high-level visits in both directions since 2009 have elevated the bilateral relationship, most notably visits to China by Prime Minster Harper in February 2012 and December 2009, and a visit to Canada by President Hu Jintao in June 2010. Among the outcomes of Prime Minister Harper's most recent visit were: the conclusion of negotiations on a Foreign Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement; agreement on a legally binding Protocol to supplement the Nuclear Cooperation Agreement that will facilitate the export of Canadian uranium to China; and an announcement to commence exploratory discussions on deepening trade and economic relations following the conclusion of an Economic Complementarities Study in the spring of 2012. Both sides agreed to increase people-to-people exchanges, expressing an aspirational target of 100,000 students studying in each other's country within five years.

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