On Trudeau’s 2nd trip to China, time may be ripe to advance free trade

Updated: 00:00 GMT, Jan 1, 1970 | Published: 10:55 GMT, Dec 3, 2017 |

Justin Trudeau lifted off for China late Saturday afternoon after spending part of the day in British Columbia to campaign with the Liberal candidate in a local byelection.

The prime minister joined Gordon Hogg in South Surrey-White Rock, a riding the party hopes to take away from the Conservatives. The seat became vacant when former Tory MP Dianne Watts resigned to run for the leadership of the provincial Liberals.

Trudeau will spend four days in China in an effort to promote trade, tourism and closer business ties.

He will meet on Monday with Chinese Premier Li Keqiang and on Tuesday with President Xi Jinping. Xi will also play host to the prime minister at a state dinner that night before Trudeau heads to Guangzhou in southern China, where he’ll deliver the keynote address at the annual Fortune Global Forum.

That’s the itinerary. But outside of the details of where he’s going, and who he’ll meet, Canadian officials have been mum on what to expect out of this trip, even though many in the business and diplomatic community believe the goal is to announce the beginning of formal negotiations with China for a free trade deal.

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