A glance at Thursdays key developments during Trudeaus China visit

by The Canadian Press Posted Sep 1, 2016 10:23 am MDT Last Updated Sep 1, 2016 at 11:40 am MDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email Chinese President Xi Jinping welcomes Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to the Diaoyutai State Guesthouse in Beijing, Wednesday August 31, 2016. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld A glance at Thursday’s key developments during Trudeau’s China visit SHANGHAI – A quick look at some of the key developments Thursday from Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s ongoing visit to China.___Speaking to an elite business crowd in Shanghai, the prime minister delivered a strong public criticism of China’s record on freedom of expression and human rights. “I remind everyone that as a country that has seen first-hand the benefits of free expression and good governance, Canada encourages China to do more to promote and protect human rights,” Closer ties between the two countries will make it easier for them to have regular, frank talks about governance, human rights and the rule of law, he said. Trudeau went further, making pointed reference to a lack of women in positions of influence as he surveyed the audience in front of him. “Gentlemen, it’s 2016,” he said. “We need more women at this head table.”___In Beijing, Trudeau met President Xi Jinping and Zhang Dejiang, chairman of the standing committee of the National People’s Congress, and agreed to establish an annual dialogue between the Canadian prime minister and the Chinese premier. Zhang told Trudeau that his visit to China is an important influence on deepening ties between the two countries: “Mr. prime minister, I know that you came to China a long time ago…. But I know this visit to China — first time as prime minister of Canada — will certainly leave you a deep and new impression.”___The two sides announced that 2018 would be the Canada-China Year of Tourism and agreed that Canada will open seven additional visa application centres in China to help boost tourist travel to Canada. Canadian ambassador Guy Saint-Jacques called it an important element of the visit. “As of this summer, you can fly to Canada from 11 cities here in China, so therefore that’s why need to have more visa application centres.” He said Chinese visitors to Canada are only outnumbered by Americans and Britons.___Canada announced that Canadian and Chinese companies have signed 56 new commercial contracts and agreements worth $1.2 billion. The agreements include a letter of intent between Fort Capital Partners of British Columbia and Zhonguancun Private Equity and Venture Capital Association for up to $656 million of investment in North American, mainly Canadian, companies in the health sciences, clean tech, technology, media and telecommunications, foods and agriculture, and energy sectors. Another agreement between Swan Hills SynFuels of Alberta and Haicheng Petroleum Machinery Manufacturing Co. Ltd., creates a joint venture, valued at $100 million, that will invest in Swan Hills’ coal gasification demonstration facility in Alberta to restart it and fund its operations. The technology will also be applied to a resource-development project in Liaoning Province, China.___Trudeau, his wife Sophie Gregoire and their daughter, Ella-Grace, began their day by exploring a section of the Great Wall of China. The portion of the wall they visited had been temporarily closed to the public — providing them with a peaceful section to stroll, away from the usual hordes of visitors. While there, Trudeau announced that the two countries would co-operate on the development of Chinese national parks. Chinese tourist travel to Canada rose 24 per cent in the first six months of this year, said Saint-Jacques. He noted that now only Americans and Brits visit Canada more than the Chinese.___ read more