On January 13, the China-Canada Online Forum was successfully held, where experts exchanged in-depth views and reached a broad consensus on China-Canada political and diplomatic relations, similarities and differences of the Chinese and Canadian legal systems, and China-Canada economic issues and international cooperation. Ambassador Li Qiangmin, the Secretary-General of the Charhar Institute, hosted the forum online and delivered a welcome speech. Chinese Ambassador to Canada Cong Peiwu and Canadian Ambassador to China Dominic Barton delivered opening addresses.
On behalf of President Han Fangming of the Charhar Institute, Li Qiangmin welcomed all guests to the symposium. He pointed out that the current Sino-Canadian relations are facing great difficulties and challenges due to a series of factors, but mutual support, mutual assistance, and active cooperation in the fight against epidemics are still the main themes of Sino-Canadian relations. In 1970, the then Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau prevailed over all dissenting views, establishing the formal diplomatic relationship with China. It is expected that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will carry on his father's work and take concrete actions to improve the relationship between the two countries to benefit both peoples.
Ambassador Cong Peiwu said that the 50-year history of China-Canada relations shows that to maintain healthy and stable development of relations between the two countries, it is necessary to adhere to mutual respect, treat each other as equals, and respect each other's core interests and major concerns. At present, China-Canada relations are still in serious difficulties; He hopes Canada show political courage and wisdom, make efforts to remove interference, correct mistakes, and make a correct decision on the release of Madame Meng as soon as possible from the perspective of the merits of the matter itself and fairness and justice, so as to create conditions for relations between the two countries to return to the right track.
In his opening address, Dominic Barton, Canadian Ambassador to China, noted that while we need to celebrate the achievements of Canada and China in the 50 years since the establishment of diplomatic relations, we also need to reflect on and take stock of the past and work together in a creative way and with a long-term perspective to address the current difficulties and obstacles in the bilateral relationship. He expressed his willingness to do everything possible to promote the recovery and development of relations between Canada and China.
The China-Canada Online Forum was organized jointly by the Charhar Institute, the China Institute at the University of Alberta, the Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada, and co-sponsored by the Canada Chinese Arts Association. More than 20 experts and scholars from China and Canada attended the forum online, including Dr. Jia Qingguo, member of the International Advisory Board of the Charhar Institute; Tang Xiaosong, Institute's Senior Research Fellow and Director of the Canadian Studies Center at GDUFS; Yan Xiaojun and Zhao Minghao, Institute's Senior Research Fellows; Wang Duangyong, Associate Professor at Shanghai International Studies University and Secretary-General of the Secretariat of the China Association for Canadian Studies; Li Xiaojun, Associate Professor in the Department of Political Science at UBC and Non-Resident Scholar at the Center for 21st Century China Studies at UCSD; Yu Bowen, Assistant Professor at the School of International Relations and Public Affairs of Fudan University.