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Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper visits the Great Wall of China. (Sean Kilpatrick/Sean Kilpatrick/The Canadian Press)
Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper visits the Great Wall of China. (Sean Kilpatrick/Sean Kilpatrick/The Canadian Press)

Harper heads to China on Feb. 7 Add to ...

Prime Minister Stephen Harper will visit China for the second time from Feb. 7 to 11 this year, according to a statement posted online by China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

The visit is an important opportunity for Mr. Harper to strengthen his relationship with Chinese officials. Canada wants to sell its oil and other resources to the country. Mr. Harper is also interested in a bilateral investment protection agreement to give Canadian companies more security when they are doing business with China. In 2010, $44.4-billion in Chinese goods were imported into Canada, compared with $12.9-billion in Canadian exports to China.

China, meanwhile, wants to invest and own more companies in Canada’s oil sands, something to which Mr. Harper’s government appears to be increasingly receptive.

The Chinese statement, posted on Monday, says relations between China and Canada have developed well, citing trade, energy resources, science and education among the areas in which the two countries are co-operating. The statement calls Canada an important country in the Asia-Pacific region in promoting development and maintaining peace and adds that the visit will enhance trust between the two countries.

Mr. Harper’s last visit to Beijing was in 2009, and was considered a turning point in improving a previously sour relationship between the two countries.

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