Newly appointed Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi received his first foreign
counterpart Peter Mackay from Canada yesterday, vowing to push forward the
bilateral strategic partnership.
Yang, who took charge last week, said Mackay's first China visit comes at a
very important juncture of Sino-Canadian relationship.
He said he hoped the two countries will expand the dialog process at various
levels to strengthen cooperation in trade, energy, science and education.
Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi meets his Canadian counterpart Peter
Mackay yesterday in Beijing. The occasion marked Yang's first meeting with
another country's foreign minister since he assumed the post last
Yang said Beijing and Ottawa should deal with the disputes afflicting
bilateral ties in a proper way and boost consultation and coordination on major
global and regional issues.
Mackay said he will work to establish "cordial and productive relations"
between the two countries and would like to strengthen mutual trust. He said
Canada values its ties with China and is keen to further the strategic
Mackay also met State Councilor Tang Jiaxuan yesterday.
Sino-Canadian ties have soured since the Conservative Party took power in
Canada last year. The new administration has been harping on human rights and
has differences with Beijing on a number of issues.
The latest dispute is over the case of Huseyin Celil, an ethnic Uygur in
Northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, who was sentenced to life
imprisonment for the crime of "splitting the motherland" and involvement in
Canada has been aggressively lobbying for Celil's release, citing consular
protection but China refuses to fall in line, saying the case is related to
terrorism and Canada should not interfere in China's internal affairs.
York University Professor Emeritus Bernie Frolic has been quoted as saying
the present Canadian government has neglected other aspects of bilateral ties by
concentrating on the rights aspect. This, he said, has resulted in a poor
working relationship with the top echelons of the Chinese government.
(China Daily 05/01/2007 page2)