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  2. Her Excellency the Right Honourable Julie Payette
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News

Arrival of His Excellency Hu Jintao, President of the People’s Republic of China

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Arrival of His Excellency Hu Jintao,
President of the People’s Republic of China

Rideau Hall, Thursday, June 24, 2010

Excellency, I would like to say what a pleasure it is for my husband, Jean-Daniel Lafond, our daughter, Marie-Éden, and me to welcome you to Rideau Hall, as you prepare to take part in the G20 Summit in Toronto.

What makes your Canadian visit even more special is that this year marks the 40th anniversary of diplomatic relations between our countries. This anniversary will also be celebrated in Shanghai during Expo 2010, in which Canada is delighted to take part.

Excellency, you are on familiar ground, especially considering your visit to Canada in 2005. So please make yourself at home here.

In a few days, my husband, my daughter and I will be making the opposite journey that you are undertaking; it will be our turn to pay a visit to your country, at your kind invitation. We are indeed delighted.

For my family and myself, this will be our first time in the Middle Kingdom.

A Chinese proverb imparts that “a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.”

I am pleased to be making this first step in your presence, Excellency, before setting out to discover one of the world’s most ancient civilizations, as well as a kindred people, who are making their presence known within the concert of nations.

Your visit to our country and our upcoming visit to yours show the extent of the enduring friendship that has existed between Canada and China for many years.

We hope that these visits will give rise to even more opportunities for exchanges between our two countries.

May the bonds that unite us last forever!

Excellency, to yourself and the delegation accompanying you, I say welcome to Canada!