Chong accompanies Harper onstate visits to China and South Korea

Wellington-Halton Hills MP Michael Chong departed this week with Prime Minister Stephen Harper for state visits to the People’s Republic of China and the Republic of Korea.

“I am honoured the Prime Minister has asked me to ac­company him on these official state visits to China and South Korea,” said Chong. “This is an opportunity to strengthen relations in an area of the world that is increasingly important to Canada’s political and economic interests.”

The Canadian delegation will be visiting Beijing, Shang­hai and Hong Kong from Dec. 2 to 6. From there, the Cana­dian delegation will travel to Seoul, South Korea for official meetings on Dec. 7.

China is Canada’s third largest export destination after the United States and the United Kingdom. In 1970, Can­ada was one of the first countries in the world to recognize the People’s Republic of China, and next year marks the 40th year of diplomatic relations between Canada and China.

The trip will also take them to South Korea, one of Cana­da’s top trading partners. Canada has long enjoyed relations with South Korea. During the Korean War, Canada sent 26,971 military personnel to the Korean peninsula as part of a United Nations force, and 516 Canadians died in the war.

Chong added a final thought before boarding the plane with the Prime Minister, “I am looking forward to strengthening political and economic ties between Canada and this part of the world. This is a great opportunity for Canada and Canadians.”