Canada and China announce free trade talks

But he calmly addressed head-on the issue of capital punishment in his country. The two countries signed an agreement on the sharing and return of forfeited assets, a joint statement on cooperation in third-party markets, a protocol for frozen beef to be exported from Canada to China, an arrangement in cooperation in combating crimes, and an arrangement for enhanced cooperation in tourism.

But Trudeau said Canada's standard on extradition was clearly understood by China. "We have agreed to establish high-level financial dialogue mechanism, and annual meeting mechanism between the two foreign ministers", Li added.

Canada is the world's top grower of canola, used to make cooking oil and animal feed, and has become increasingly reliant on sales to China.

As in, greater balance must be brought to Canada's global trade profile, building diversity from an overwhelming reliance on the United States yet ensuring that growing trade with China, Canada's second largest trade partner, becomes more equal; increasing the size of consumer-related trade and investment, not just commodities; and giving appropriate weight both to economic issues and Canada's traditional focus on human rights, freedom of speech and press, and environmental concerns, among other topics.

Trudeau and Chinese Premier Li Keqiang, who had already met in Beijing earlier this month, agreed to solve a drawn-out dispute over exports of Canadian canola, worth C$2 billion a year. Li's visit to Canada came a month after Trudeau made a trip to Beijing looking to "renew and deepen" Sino-Canadian relations. "If we abolish the death penalty, more innocent people will probably lose their lives", he said, via a translator. Harsh interrogation, even torture, are common, according to Amnesty International, and the country executes more people every year than all others combined - including many for non-violent economic offences.

"The key is how to handle these differences", he said.

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The Chinese leader said the two sides agreed that they have broad common interests and sound cooperation.

Li and Trudeau appeared at ease with each other.

After Trudeau responded to some questions about his senior staffers' moving expenses, Li cut in to expound on how much he liked the French language.

Outside, on the lawns in front of Parliament, hundreds of yellow-clad Falun Gong members - a religious and meditation group that is banned in China - held a protest. "I see if free trade is discussed, we'll benefit as local business".

"I think we are opening up more and more and realizing that in fact some of these mergers and some of the acquisitions are essentially to look for opportunities in Canada".

Premier Li defended the death penalty as he stressed on Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to sign a formal extradition treaty. But Li Keqiang displayed an easy familiarity with his host - one celebrated over a beer the night before at the prime minister's Harrington Lake retreat - as the two leaders pushed forward their economic agenda. It's Li Keqiang's first full day of business after arriving on Wednesday.

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