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Chinese premier calls on Montreal, Quebec to lead cooperation with China at local levels

(Xinhua/chinadaily.com.cn) Updated: 2016-09-24 16:38 Comments

Chinese premier calls on Montreal, Quebec to lead cooperation with China at local levels

Premier Li Keqiang meets with Montreal Mayor Denis Coderre in Montreal,Canada, September 23, 2016. [Photo/Xinhua]

MONTREAL, Canada - Chinese Premier Li Keqiang met with Montreal Mayor Denis Coderre and Quebec Premier Philippe Couillard on Friday, calling on them to continue to spearhead China-Canada cooperation at local levels.

When meeting with Coderre, Li said Montreal is an economic, cultural and technological center of Canada and also a major destination for Chinese investors and tourists. He called on Montreal to deepen trade, investment, aviation and tourism cooperation with more places in China.

Urbanization is an important component of modernization and China's industrialization will come along with urbanization, Li said. "During the process of pushing for a new type of urbanization, China is willing to enhance exchanges with Montreal to learn advanced city management and make it a new point of growth for bilateral local-level cooperation."

Coderre said Montreal has good relations with Shanghai and is willing to strengthen cooperation with Shanghai and other Chinese cities in city management, environment protection, high technology and sustainable development.

Coderre said he hoped the cooperation between large cities will play a big role in boosting the China-Canada relationship, adding that Montreal looks forward to the smooth progress of feasibility study of a bilateral free trade agreement (FTA).

After the meeting, Coderre presented Premier Li with the keys to the city.

When meeting with Couillard, Li said Quebec has a long history of friendly relations with China and that China will never forget the Canadian friends' unselfish assistance to China, represented by Norman Bethune.

Li said he and Canadian leaders have reached important consensus on cooperation in a wide range of areas, and they are convinced that the stable growth of the China-Canada relations will provide a new opportunity for partnership between China and Quebec.

Li said cooperation at local levels is an important part of bilateral relations and Quebec, which plays an important and unique role in Canada, takes the lead in cooperation with China.

"China and Canada have reached consensus on launching the feasibility study of the FTA. China welcomes Quebec to play a positive role in this process," Li said.

He welcomed Quebec enterprises to invest in China and encourages capable Chinese businesses to cooperate with Quebec to lay a solid foundation for bilateral practical cooperation.

Quebec supports the feasibility study of the FTA and is ready to work with the federal government to push forward the free trade process between the two countries, Couillard said.

He added that Quebec also hopes to enhance cooperation with China in carbon market and welcomes Chinese enterprises to diversify their investment there.

Prior to the meeting, Li visited an exhibition featuring the China-Canada friendship and Norman Bethune, a well-known Canadian surgeon who arrived in early 1938 in China's Yan'an to provide medical services to Chinese troops during WWII and died of septicemia in 1939.

Li arrived in Ottawa Wednesday afternoon for an official visit to Canada and will travel to Cuba on Saturday.

He had attended high-level meetings of the 71st Session of the UN General Assembly at the UN Headquarters in New York before visiting Canada.

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