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03-12-09, 18:26
Kanada başbakanı Çin ziyaretini devam ettirirken Kanada vatandaşı iken Özbekistan ımızın çine sattığı meşhur din adamı Hüseyn jelil gündeme gelmesi bekleniyor

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03-12-09, 18:56
Harper, Chinese leader both complain of too lengthy absence


BY DAVID AKIN AND ANDREW MAYEDA, CANWEST NEWS SERVICE DECEMBER 3, 2009 6:23 PM



China's Premier Wen Jiabao toasts with Canada's Prime Minister Stephen Harper during a signing ceremony at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing December 3, 2009.
Photograph by: Jason Lee, Reuters
BEIJING and OTTAWA — Prime Minister Stephen Harper was taken to task for his government's neglect of China on Thursday after Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao rebuked the prime minister for taking so long to visit China.

Harper is visiting China this week for the first time in his nearly four years in power. The two countries issued a joint statement heralding a "significant new era" in their relations, but not before Wen scolded the prime minister in public.

"This is your first trip to China and this is the first meeting between the Chinese premier and the Canadian prime minister in almost five years. Five years is too long a time for China-Canada relations and that is why there are comments in the media that your visit is one that should have taken place earlier," said Wen, the second most powerful politician in China next to President Hu Jintao, at the start of his hour-long meeting with Harper.

The Chinese government, through the state-controlled media, ran articles and editorials as Harper arrived noting with disapproval that, although he was elected in 2006, he had never visited China and was the last G8 leader to do so.

"I agree with you, Premier, that five years is a long time," replied Harper, who irritated Beijing by criticizing the Communist regime's human-rights record and meeting with the Dalai Lama, among other things. "It's also been almost five years since we had yourself or President Hu in our country."

Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff said the prime minister was paying the price of putting China-Canada relations "in the deep freeze.

"This is the most important relationship for the economic future of the country — the most important. For four years, this government put this relationship in the deep freeze, and then they show up and expect to be given a royal welcome, and the Chinese said, 'Wait a minute,'" Ignatieff told reporter. "He lost face today. And in that culture, losing face is very important."

Outside the House of Commons, some experts on China-Canada relations played down the rebuke.

"It's not a declaration of war," said Paul Evans, director of the Institute of Asian Research at the University of British Columbia. "But it is a sign that, from the Chinese perspective, the relationship has not been as productive as they would have wished in the last four years. The Chinese have long memories."

Evans noted that the two countries agreed to several developments Thursday that move the bilateral relationship forward. China announced it will open a new consulate in Montreal and it gave Canada approved destination status, something Ottawa had been seeking for more than a decade, that will make it easier for Chinese tourists to visit Canada.

That decision alone could mean more than $100 million annually in new business for Canada's ailing tourism industry and is particularly timely ahead of the 2010 Olympics in Vancouver.

"The public rebuke shows that there's work to do on Canada's part," said NDP Leader Jack Layton. "The new tourist designation and the consulate in Montreal are an important gesture by the Chinese, now it's our turn."

More than 134 countries already have China's approved destination status and are reaping the Chinese tourism windfall because of it. Tourism industry associations estimate that by 2020, there will be more than 100 million international Chinese tourists. Only 159,000 Chinese tourists visited Canada in 2008.

But that decision surprised some observers here who believed that Harper's visit to China — the first by a Canadian prime minister since Paul Martin's in 2005 — would only be a first step toward an agreement on approved destination status.

Martin initialled exactly the same ADS agreement with China during a visit to Beijing in 2005 and also trumpeted it to the media travelling with him, but political problems ensued and it was never implemented. Canada is the last major western nation to be granted ADS.

Citizenship and Immigration Minister Jason Kenney said the approval of destination status showed the government's approach of "principled engagement" with China is working.

"We achieved today what the Liberals couldn't during 13 years with the approved destination status which has been the No. 1 ask in the bilateral relationship for over a decade," said Kenney.

In separate private talks with both Wen and Hu, Harper pressed the case of Huseyincan Celil, a Uyghur imam of dual Chinese and Canadian citizenship, Canwest News Service has learned.

Celil was arrested in 2006 while visiting Uzbekistan and subsequently deported to China, where he had been convicted in absentia of terrorism and sentenced to life in prison. Canadian officials believe that, not only did he not receive a fair trial but that the Chinese have mistaken him for someone else and that he should be returned to Canada.

No Canadian consular official has yet been able to visit Celil.

The joint 14-point statement issued by both countries included a section on human rights.

"Both sides acknowledged that differing histories and national conditions can create some distinct points of view on issues such as human rights," the statement said. "The two sides agreed to increased dialogue and exchanges on human rights, on the basis of equality and mutual respect, to promote and protect human rights consistent with international human rights instruments."

© Copyright (c) Canwest News Service

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