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A spokesman for Jean Chrétien says the former Canadian prime minister is receiving treatment to remove a kidney stone in Hong Kong.

Bruce Hartley, a former executive assistant to Mr. Chrétien, says he will return to Canada after treatment to remove it.

Mr. Chrétien, 85, was scheduled to speak at the U.S.-China Trade and Economic Relations Forum in Hong Kong today.

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Instead, he was taken to hospital shortly after landing in the semi-independent Chinese territory Monday evening.

Tung Chee-hwa, a former leader of Hong Kong, told attendees at conference that Mr. Chrétien would not be able to make it to the event.

Expanding trade with China was a theme in Mr. Chrétien’s time in office and he’s continued working on business links between China and North America since he went back to private life.

“I want to deliver an apology because Jean Chrétien, the prime minister of Canada, he arrived here very late last night,” Mr. Tung said, according to a transcript of his remarks. “And we were supposed to have breakfast together. But he has not been well. And as a precaution, we have taken him to a hospital. We think it is going to be all right. So wish him all the best.”

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