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Canada urged to be 'prudent, pragmatic'

By CAO DESHENG | China Daily | Updated: 2022-04-07 07:12
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The Canadian flag is seen in this picture. [Photo/IC]

State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi has urged Canada to pursue a "prudent and pragmatic" policy toward China, saying Ottawa should work with Beijing to eliminate external interference and overcome difficulties to achieve sound, steady and sustainable development of bilateral relations.

Wang made the remarks on Tuesday in a phone call with Canadian Foreign Minister Melanie Joly.

Their conversation was one of the few high-level diplomatic engagements between China and Canada since bilateral relations worsened due to the case of Huawei Chief Financial Officer Meng Wanzhou, who returned to China after being detained by Canadian authorities for more than 1,000 days.

China maintains that the essence of Meng's case is that the United States suppressed Chinese high-tech enterprises by coercion, and Canada assisted the US in its unilateral bullying.

Noting that China has always viewed and handled relations with Canada based on a strategic and long-term perspective, Wang said that the current situation of bilateral relations is not in the interests of both sides.

He urged Canada to take a positive and objective view of China's political system and development path, saying that both countries have neither historical disputes nor real conflicts of interest.

China hopes that Canada will keep in mind the goal of mutual benefit and win-win results and do more practical things that are conducive to enhancing mutual trust and promoting bilateral relations, Wang said.

He underlined the need to respect each other's core interests and urged Canada not to set new obstacles in the path of the development of the countries' ties.

"The one-China principle is the political foundation of China-Canada relations. If the Taiwan question is not handled properly, China-Canada relations will suffer fundamental damage," Wang was quoted as saying in a news release.

"China hopes that Canada will adopt a correct attitude and position on issues concerning China's core interests."

Wang also expressed his hope that Canada will uphold independence and eliminate unnecessary external interference.

Joly said that Canada was one of the first countries to recognize the People's Republic of China, and Canada-China relations have a solid foundation.

Canada respects China's sovereignty, system and the choices made independently by the Chinese people, and speaks highly of China's great achievements in development, especially poverty alleviation, she said.

Noting that Canada-China relations were at a difficult phase in recent years, Joly said that Canada is ready to work with China to bring bilateral ties back on the right track and build a more resilient bilateral relationship on the basis of treating each other with candidness and respect, and in a forward-looking spirit.

Canada appreciates China's important contributions to the global fight against the COVID-19 pandemic, and stands ready to strengthen cooperation with China on climate change, environmental protection and pandemic response, she added.

The two foreign ministers also exchanged views on the Ukraine issue. Wang reiterated China's position on the Ukraine crisis, and Joly said Canada is ready to maintain communication with China on the issue.

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