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China, Canada to promote ties through cultural exchanges

China and Canada agreed Thursday to further deepen ties by improving cultural understanding between the two peoples through exchanges.

"I hope we can work together to strengthen cultural exchanges and cooperation in order to bring our bilateral relations to a new stage," Li Changchun, a senior official of the Communist Party of China (CPC), said at a meeting with David Johnston, governor-general of Canada.

Li, a member of the Standing Committee of the CPC Central Committee's Political Bureau, was in Ottawa on a four-day official visit to Canada, with an aim to improve cultural and people-to-people exchanges between the two countries.

He said the friendship between China and Canada goes back a long way, and Norman Bethune, a Canadian doctor, is a household name in China due to his efforts to save the lives of Chinese soldiers in the 1930s during China's war against Japanese aggression.

"Cultural exchange and cooperation between our two countries have been further strengthened. A series of cooperation programs in various forms and with rich content have been carried out, and Canadians' fervor in learning Chinese is rising, which has helped enhance mutual understanding and friendship between our two peoples," Li said.

Li said he hoped that the cultural and educational departments of the two countries could build on past achievements and continue to strengthen dialogue and cooperation so as to achieve even better results.

For his part, Johnston said he has a deep personal affection for China and has visited China more than ten times.

He said Bethune has become a symbol of the strong friendship between Canada and China, and that many Canadians support closer ties with China.

After the meeting, Li visited the Canadian Museum of Civilization and attended a ceremony, during which the two countries signed two cooperation agreements on copyright and education.

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