Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff will meet with senior Chinese officials and Canadian business people operating in China during his working visit to Beijing and Shanghai from July 3 to 8, as well as speak to academic and business audiences, tour Chinese cultural sites, and visit the Shanghai Expo.
Mr. Ignatieff outlined his itinerary while meeting with key leaders on Asia-Pacific relations in Vancouver today.
“My visit to China will affirm the Liberal vision for restoring Canada’s global leadership, where real partnerships with China are nurtured through constant, constructive engagement,” Mr. Ignatieff said. “While Stephen Harper neglected China, a future Liberal government will leverage our relationships with China by partnering with business and government, colleges and universities, civil society organizations and private citizens.”
Last week, Mr. Ignatieff announced his plan to negotiate a Global Network Agreement between Canada and China – a next-generation agreement that goes beyond trade and investment – to provide a strategic framework for sustained engagement and relationship-building between government, business, academic and cultural leaders in the two countries. A new model for bilateral agreements, it could cover sectors such as research and education, energy and environmental technology, transportation, food security, health, immigration, culture and tourism.
“Many of our key trading partners in Beijing and Shanghai remember the highly successful ‘Team Canada’ trade missions and look forward to that kind of dialogue again. I will make it clear in my meetings in China that a Liberal government will update the Team Canada approach, and again lead those trade missions.”
Mr. Ignatieff will be accompanied by Liberal International Trade Critic Scott Brison and by Vancouver South MP Ujjal Dosanjh on this visit.
The following is Mr. Ignatieff’s tentative itinerary:
Saturday, July 3: Arrival in Beijing
Sunday, July 4: Badaling and Beijing
- Tour of the Great Wall of China, Badaling, Weng Deng gate (media availability)
Monday, July 5: Beijing
Meetings with Chinese government officials (with photo ops):
- International Liaison Department of the Chinese Communist Party
- Ministry of Foreign Affairs
- Chinese Communist Party Central Committee Senior Leadership
- National People’s Congress Foreign Affairs Standing Committee
- Canada-China Legislative Association
Tuesday, July 6: Beijing
- Working session with Canadian representatives of the financial sector working in China (photo op)
- Speech at the China Institute of International Studies (open to media)
- Visit to the Canadian International School (media availability)
- Departure for Shanghai
Wednesday, July 7: Shanghai
- Visit to the Montreal and Vancouver pavilions at the Shanghai Expo, Zone E (open to media)
- Meeting with B+H Architects, a Toronto firm with expertise in green design, at the Vancouver pavilion, Shanghai Expo, Zone E (photo op)
- Possible tour of Expo grounds on urban best practices (photo op)
- Roundtable with representatives from Shanghai economic and cultural sectors (photo op and media availability)
- Visit to Shanghai Urban Planning Exhibition Centre (photo op)
Thursday, July 8: Shanghai
- Visit to the Canadian pavilion at the Shanghai Expo Zone C (media availability)
- Visit to the Chinese pavilion at the Shanghai Expo Zone C (photo op)
“I am proud of the deep economic and cultural ties with China that have been fostered by Liberal governments,” Mr. Ignatieff concluded. “Stephen Harper has failed to build on Canada’s special relationship with China. It’s time to get back to building those direct relationships between our countries again.”