Chinese Premier Li Keqiang (R) shakes hands with Governor General of Canada David Johnston prior to their meeting at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, capital of China, Oct. 18, 2013. (Xinhua/Huang Jingwen)
BEIJING, Oct. 18 (Xinhua) -- Chinese Premier Li Keqiang met with visiting Canadian Governor General David Johnston here on Friday and urged Canada to approve a bilateral investment treaty (BIT) as early as possible.
"[We] welcome more Canadian enterprises to invest in China and hope that the Canadian side will accelerate the pace to approve the China-Canada BIT and create favorable environments for mutual investment to benefit the people of the two countries," said the Chinese premier.
The two countries concluded their BIT negotiations last year.
Li said the Chinese government appreciated the Canadian government's pragmatic policy toward China in recent years.
China is ready to stick with the principle of equality and mutual respect in order to tap the potential for reciprocal cooperation in key areas, Li said.
Highlighting the significance of deepening mutual understanding and friendship for the China-Canada relationship, Li said people-to-people exchanges have helped to lay a solid social foundation for bilateral ties and created good conditions for practical cooperation between the two countries.
In 2012, more than 25,000 students were granted offers to study in Canada, which means China is Canada's top source of overseas students.
Li said the Chinese government stands ready to maintain the momentum of high-level interactions and step up communication and coordination with Canada in international and regional affairs to promote peace and prosperity of the region as well as the world at large.
Johnston said the Canadian side cherishes its friendship with China and will work with the Chinese side to give full play to their mutually complementary advantages and expand cooperation in trade, investment, energy, resources, technology, education and culture in pursuit of common development and further improvement of bilateral relations.
Johnston is paying a state visit to China from Friday to Thursday at the invitation of Chinese President Xi Jinping. On Friday, Xi also met with the governor general.