Ladies and Gentlemen,
We live in a world that is undergoing major transformation and adjustment. The world is moving toward multi-polarity and economic globalization is gaining momentum. Countries are more interdependent with their interests closely interwoven than at any time in history. The pursuit of peace, development and cooperation has become an irresistible trend of the times. However, the road to peace and development is still fraught with difficulties, as evidenced by unceasing local conflicts and hotspot issues, widening gap between the North and the South and simultaneous presence of traditional and non-traditional security threats. What merits our special attention is that impact of the global financial crisis on the real economy has become more visible and the world economic and financial situation remains grave. No country can meet these challenges alone and our only choice is to confront them through cooperation.
The world has gone through major changes and we should view the world and China-Canada relations from a new perspective. China and Canada are respectively the largest developing country and largest developed country in terms of territory. There is no conflict of fundamental interests between us. Rather, we share broad common interests and a good foundation of cooperation. Under the current circumstances, there is more reason for our two countries to enhance cooperation and work together to promote early recovery of the world economy and effectively meet all global challenges with a view to bringing greater benefits to people of the two countries and the world.
- To advance China-Canada relations, we should maintain exchanges at the top and other levels and increase mutual political trust. High level exchanges play an irreplaceable role in consolidating the political foundation of our relations. In recent years, leaders of the two countries have maintained regular contact on major issues of shared interest through meetings and correspondence, giving a strong boost to the improvement and development of bilateral relations. We should keep this momentum of exchanges and at the same time expand dialogue and communication between the governments, legislatures and political parties. We hope more delegations from the Canadian government, parliament and political parties and friends from various sectors will visit China.
- To advance China-Canada relations, we should fully tap our potential and broaden practical cooperation. Trade between China and Canada has enjoyed continuous growth for many years, but given the total size of our respective economies and cooperation potential, the volume of our trade and investment is still modest. Bilateral trade accounts for merely 1% and 6% of the total foreign trade conducted by China and Canada respectively. We welcome the Canadian government's active efforts to pursue the trade diversification strategy. We support companies of our two countries in conducting cooperation in information technology, energy and resources, infrastructure, transportation, environmental protection and agriculture to achieve mutual complementarity. We will also encourage Chinese enterprises to actively participate in Canada's Pacific and Atlantic Gateway Strategies. We hope the two sides will jointly oppose trade and investment protectionism, properly handle trade issues, build a more enabling environment for our business relations and make Canada an even more important trading partner of China.
The priority task for all countries at present is to tackle the global financial crisis. China's economy has also been affected by the financial crisis and we are facing increasing difficulty in economic operation. To meet the crisis, we have made timely adjustment to our macroeconomic policy, shifting focus to expanding effective domestic demand, especially consumer demand in boosting economic growth. We have adopted a proactive fiscal policy and moderately easy monetary policy and introduced a stimulus package that has six major components: first, increase public spending by RMB four trillion yuan; second, implement structural tax cuts worth RMB 500 billion yuan; third, preserve sufficient financial liquidity; fourth, carry out readjustment and revitalization programs in a wide range of industries; fifth, vigorously expand domestic consumption market, especially the rural market; and sixth, accelerate those key projects related to people's well-being.
This stimulus package has produced initial results and positive changes have taken place in the economic operation. The situation is better than expected. First, investment is growing at a faster pace and consumption is rising fairly rapidly. The GDP grew by 6.1% in the first quarter of this year. Second, industrial production is developing steadily and agriculture enjoys overall stability. The added value of industries above a designated scale increased by 7.3% in April over the same period last year. Third, good progress is being made in structural adjustment, development in various regions has become more balanced and industrial upgrading is gaining speed. Fourth, more urban dwellers have found jobs and people's income has increased. In the first quarter of the year, 2.68 million new jobs were created, and per capita disposable income of urban residents and per capita cash income of farmers rose by 11.2% and 8.6% respectively over the same period last year. Fifth, there is adequate liquidity in the banking system and financial markets are functioning smoothly. The RMB lending by financial institutions in the first three months increased by 29.78% over the same period last year. All these achievements show the measures that we have adopted are not only conducive to our own economy but also have produced positive impact on the economies of the region and the world as a whole.
Since the outbreak of the financial crisis, our two countries have had good consultation and coordination. Both China and Canada support deeper international economic and trade cooperation, enhanced international dialogue and coordination on macroeconomic policies and reform of the international financial system. We both believe that international cooperation on financial regulation should be strengthened to prevent the buildup and spread of financial risks. China stands ready to work with Canada to step up consultations and coordination in these areas. We would also like to make joint efforts with Canada and other parties concerned for more positive outcomes at the third G20 financial summit in Pittsburg on the basis of the two previous summits.
The enormous potential of our cooperation is also reflected in a wide range of other areas. China and Canada should actively pursue the converging interests, expand mutually beneficial cooperation and enrich the strategic content of the bilateral relations in the fields of counter-terrorism, justice, law enforcement, science, education, culture and health and on global issues and regional hotspots such as UN affairs and climate change.
- To advance China-Canada relations, we should respect and accommodate each other's concerns and properly handle sensitive issues. The question of Taiwan concerns China's sovereignty and territorial integrity and represents China's core interest. Relations between the two sides of the Taiwan Straits have been improving and have embarked on the track of peaceful development. Improvement and development of cross-Straits relations have not only brought real benefits to people on both sides, but also served the common interest of the international community, including Canada. We will continue to work for new progress in the peaceful development of cross-Straits relations in line with the principles of establishing mutual trust, laying aside disputes, seeking consensus while shelving differences and jointly creating a win-win situation. I should like to point out here that no matter how the cross-Straits relations may evolve, the Chinese government's commitment to the one China principle and its opposition to "Taiwan independence" separatist activities, and to "one China, one Taiwan" or "two Chinas" will never change. We hope that Canada will abide by the one China policy, prudently and properly handle Taiwan-related issues and support the peaceful development of cross-Straits relations.
Like Taiwan, -related issues also concern China's core interest. has been an inalienable part of China's territory since ancient times. The system of regional ethnic autonomy is practiced in and people's human rights and freedom of religious belief are protected according to law. We are committed to preserving the fine traditional culture in . Our difference with Dalai is not about ethnic relations, religion or human rights. It is about whether we should safeguard China's unity or allow Dalai to split the country. It is therefore a major issue of principle. Our policy toward Dalai is consistent and clear, and the door of dialogue and contact with the Dalai side has always been open. What is most important is that Dalai should truly abandon his propositions seeking independence, semi-independence or independence in a disguised way. We hope that Canada will continue to honor its commitment of recognizing as part of China and not supporting " independence", and understand and respect the Chinese people's position of upholding state sovereignty and territorial integrity.
- To advance China-Canada relations, we should expand people-to-people and cultural exchanges and enhance public support for our bilateral ties. China has a history that stretches 5,000 years and its 56 ethnic groups have jointly created the splendid and diverse Chinese culture. Canada is a country that believes in cultural diversity and harmonious coexistence of all ethnic groups. We want to work with you to expand exchanges in culture, education, sports and the academic field and boost our personnel interactions, especially those between young people with a view to enhancing mutual understanding and friendship between our two peoples.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
China actively supports Vancouver in hosting the 2010 Winter Olympic Games. We appreciate Canada's strong support for the Shanghai World Expo next year and will provide Canada with convenience and assistance in its participation. We are confident that the Vancouver Winter Olympics and the Shanghai World Expo will become new platforms for us to promote China-Canada friendship.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Next year, we will celebrate the 40th anniversary of diplomatic ties between our two countries. We should be proud of what we have achieved in the bilateral relations and should actively push for new and greater development of China-Canada relations at a new historical starting point. We stand ready to work with Canada, take a strategic and long-term perspective, seize the opportunity brought by the 40th anniversary to review the past and plan for the future, and jointly forge an even better future for China-Canada relations. In this respect, we hope and we believe that we can continue to count on the strong support of the Canada China Business Council and visionary people from all sectors of Canada.