OTTAWA, Oct. 13 (Xinhua) -- Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper has spoken highly of the dynamic relationship between China and Canada on the 40th anniversary Wednesday of diplomatic relations between the two countries.
"Today's anniversary reminds us of our shared heritage, and our common potential," Harper said while addressing some 300 dignitaries at a grand celebration reception at the Government Conference Center.
"It is an opportunity to celebrate not only 40 years of diplomatic relations, but also a growing partnership and a bright future for our two countries," he said.
Harper highlighted a number of bilateral accomplishments in the past year, notably the staged access for Canadian beef to the Chinese market and China's granting of Approved Destination Status to Canada.
Other accomplishments included new agreements on climate change, mineral resources, cultural and agricultural education, tourism, environmental protection, energy conservation and law enforcement.
Harper also talked of the efforts by the Candian government to make Canada an ideal trading and commercial partner for China and a fast and efficient access point to North American markets.
"As the centre of gravity of the world economy swings towards the Pacific, we are in a unique position to cooperate for our mutual benefit," he said. "In the context of global economic developments, it is clear that the strategic partnership between Canada and China has never been more promising."
For his part, Chinese Ambassador to Canada Lan Lijun said China-Canada relations had achieved historic progress in all fields, including economic and trade, energy, resources, science, education, culture, health, environment protection and tourism over the past four decades.
"The growth of China-Canada relations have brought tangible benefits to our two peoples and strongly promoted peace, stability and development of the Asia-Pacific region and the world beyond," he said.
The ambassador also said China wanted to work with Canada to develop their relations from a strategic and long-term perspective, strengthen friendly exchanges, expand win-win cooperation and further advance their strategic partnership from a new starting point.
Since their diplomatic relations were established on Oct. 13, 1970, two-way trade between China and Canada has jumped from 150 million U.S. dollars to 29.7 billion U.S. dollars in 2009, making China the second largest trading partner and third largest export market for Canada.
In a statement issued on Wednesday, Canadian Minister of Foreign Affairs Lawrence Cannon expressed his confidence that the next 40 years would lead to a more vibrant and productive relationship between the two countries.