Chinese President Calls for Improved Relations with Canada བོད་སྐད།

Chinese President Hu Jintao is calling for improved relations with Canada, after years of disagreement between the two countries on human rights issues.

Mr. Hu spoke Thursday after holding talks with Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper in Beijing. The Chinese president said he wants to bring Chinese-Canadian cooperation to a new level.

Canada's Mr. Harper praised what he called the "good, frank relationship" between their two countries. He said he hopes his visit will help future cooperation and trade.

Thursday is the first full day of the Canadian prime minister's four-day visit, which also takes him to Shanghai and Hong Kong.

Canada's differences with China have widened since Prime Minister Harper took office. Mr. Harper's visit appears to be aimed at overcoming negative sentiment on both sides.

The Canadian prime minister angered China in 2006 with remarks about China's human rights record, and he did not attend the 2008 Summer Olympic Games held in Beijing.

Canada also recently imposed high tariffs on imports of Chinese steel pipes.

But on Tuesday, China announced the removal of a ban on Canadian, Mexican and U.S. pork products, put in place after the swine flu outbreak that began in Mexico earlier this year.

Some information for this report was provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.