BEIJING, July 13 (Xinhua) -- Chinese President Xi Jinping met with Canadian Governor General David Johnston in Beijing on Thursday, urging both countries to expand cooperation in such areas as trade, law enforcement, technology and culture, and launch negotiations on a free trade agreement at an early date.
Xi called on both sides to respect each other's core interests and major concerns to boost progress of the China-Canada strategic partnership.
Calling China and Canada important countries in the Asia-Pacific region, Xi said they enjoy common interests and broad cooperation prospects in their national development and response to global challenges.
The sound momentum of China-Canada ties has brought concrete benefits to the two peoples, and promoted the peace, stability and prosperity of the Asia-Pacific and the world, he said.
China hopes to maintain high-level exchanges with Canada, make use of dialogue mechanisms at various levels, and expand exchanges between government departments, legislative bodies and parties, Xi said.
He proposed upgrading bilateral trade links, facilitating cooperation in energy resources, modern agriculture and clean technology, and expanding exchanges in education, youth, tourism and winter sports.
Xi urged both sides to enhance coordination in multilateral affairs, jointly safeguard the authority of the United Nations and positively respond to global issues such as climate change.
Johnston praised the profound friendship and exchanges between the two countries and peoples.
Canada highly regards China's achievements in areas including sustainable development, poverty reduction, environmental protection and technology, he said.
Johnston vowed to cement high-level exchanges with China, and boost cooperation in trade, technology and sports as well as coordination in global and regional affairs.
Xi and Johnston also witnessed the signing of bilateral cooperation agreements in culture and sports.
Johnston is visiting China from Monday to Friday.
Chinese Premier Li Keqiang also met with Johnston on Thursday.
Li said China is willing to have closer high-level exchanges and enhance political trust with Canada, and tap potential in infrastructure, science and innovation and small and medium-sized enterprises cooperation.
Li said addressing climate change is a shared responsibility of the international community. China will honor its commitments in the Paris Agreement, stick to the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities and implement the measures to tackle climate change, he added.
"It is our responsibility as the largest developing country and we also need to transform our economic development pattern. China hopes to enhance partnership with Canada in clean energy," the premier said.
Johnston said Canada will work with China in science and innovation, education and climate change, and mark the Canada-China tourism year in 2018.
Canada will support China to host a successful Winter Olympics in 2022, Johnston said.