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Tuesday October 17, 2005
Canada's natural resources minister says the increasingly hostile softwood lumber dispute with the U.S. was on his mind when he talked energy with top Chinese officials and business people in recent days.

John McCallum was in Xiang He, China, near Beijing, attending a weekend G20 meeting. While in the country, he also met with the Chinese president, three foreign ministers and the top two heads of state oil companies, pitching Canadian oil and gas.

"To all of them I said the same thing: we have a strategic framework just signed as a strategic partnership. Let's put meat on the bones. We want to sell you energy, we want you to invest in energy," McCallum told CTV's Question Period from Xiang He on Sunday.

"And to a person they were extremely enthusiastic."

He said Canada has to acknowledge China's growing weight in the global economy. And given the "voracious" Chinese appetite for Canadian oil, it's in Canada's interest to improve its trade and investment relationship with the growing superpower.

McCallum added that strengthening business ties with China is even more important considering the inefficacy of the North American Free Trade Agreement

Canada must strengthen ties with China: McCallum
CTV
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Am I the only Canadian creeped out over Paul Martin's extreme coziness with Communist China?