By Xinhua writer Xiong Zhengyan
BEIJING, July 6 (Xinhua) -- China and Canada witnessed an unprecedented flurry of diplomatic visits over the last two weeks, reflecting their growing partnership, a Chinese leader said here Tuesday.
"Such a spate of visits, which is unprecedented in the four-decade-old diplomatic relationship, indicates the growing friendship," said Zhou Yongkang, a Standing Committee member of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee, when meeting with Michael Ignatieff, leader of the Canadian Liberal Party.
Dubbing this June and July "a season of harvest for bilateral ties," Zhou recalled the important exchange programs over the past two weeks.
Chinese President Hu Jintao paid his maiden state visit to Canada in late June, the first such visit by a Chinese head of state for five years.
During Hu's visit, the two countries reaffirmed their commitment to develop their strategic partnership and pledged to increase bilateral trade to 60 billion U.S. dollars by 2015.
Governments and businesses from the two countries signed ten cooperative deals covering trade and economy, tourism, energy, minerals, among others.
On the heels of Hu's visit, Canadian Governor-General Michaelle Jean came to China for a week-long visit. Apart from Beijing and western China, she also travelled to Shanghai for the events marking Canada Day at the World Expo.
China is also the first foreign country Ignatieff visited since he became leader of the Liberal Party in May 2009.
"I am here to build on the longstanding tradition of sustained,responsible engagement with China, established by my Liberal predecessors,former Prime Ministers Pierre Trudeau, Jean Chretien and Paul Martin," Ignatieff said.
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