The Canada-China relationship is a vast and dynamic web of cooperative linkages and undertakings, dating from well before the establishment of diplomatic relations in 1970 and growing continuously year on year. Canada’s long-standing and comprehensive relationship with the People’s Republic of China operates at many levels and in many areas, including in trade, governance, health, development, education and culture. Bilateral cooperation is strong – many Canadian government departments have productive cooperation programs and memoranda of understanding with their Chinese counterparts, and hold regular exchanges at various levels. Both countries enjoy an active working relationship in international fora, such as the G20, UN, APEC, and WTO.
Strong people-to-people ties exist between the two countries: over 1.3 million Canadian residents are of Chinese origin, with over 110,000 Chinese students at Canadian educational institutions in 2014. Chinese is Canada’s third most spoken language after English and French, and immigrants born in China (including the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region) form one of the largest groups within Canada’s immigrant population. Those ties are reflected in the numerous twinning partnerships at the provincial and municipal levels.
The Canada-China Joint Statement has served as a roadmap for the relationship in four priority areas: governance (human rights, rule of law), trade and investment, energy and environment, and health (public health and pandemics). Since then, education has been identified as the fifth pillar of the relationship. This has resulted in ongoing work in a number of areas, including:
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