OTTAWA, April 18 (Xinhua) -- Li Changchun, a senior official of the Communist Party of China (CPC), arrived here Wednesday for an official goodwill visit to Canada to promote bilateral ties and cultural exchanges.
Li, a member of the Standing Committee of the CPC Central Committee's Political Bureau, said in a written speech upon his arrival that he is looking forward to exchanging views with Canadian leaders on bilateral relations and other major issues of common concern, and to interacting extensively with Canadians from various circles.
Li said that China and Canada have enjoyed long-standing friendship, and Norman Bethune, a Canadian doctor, is a household name in China for his endeavor and sacrifice in saving lives of Chinese soldiers during China's war of resistance against Japanese aggression in the 1930s and 1940s.
During the past more than four decades since establishing diplomatic relations, Sino-Canadian ties have been constantly advanced, Li said.
The two sides have greatly increased high-level mutual visits, achieved substantial results of cooperation in areas of culture, economy, trade, science and technology, and maintained good communication and coordination in major international and regional affairs since 2005, when they agreed to lift their relations to the level of strategic partnership, he added.
"The advancement of China-Canada relations has not only brought tangible benefit to our two peoples, but given strong impetus to peace, stability and prosperity in the Asia-Pacific region and the world at large," Li noted, saying there is a huge potential for the two countries to deepen cooperation.
"The world today is undergoing complex and profound changes. For China and Canada, the development of one will bring important opportunities to the other," Li said. "With the increase of common interests, there emerges an immense potential for cooperation in all areas."
During the visit, which will last till Saturday, Li was scheduled to meet Canadian leaders such as Governor-General David Johnston, Prime Minister Stephen Harper and Foreign Minister John Baird. He would also attend the opening ceremony of a Canadian Confucius school.
Li flew to Canada, the second leg of his four-country tour, after concluding a four-day visit to Britain.
After his stay in Canada, he will visit Colombia and Indonesia.