Canada PM visits China

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Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper visits Chinese President Hu Jintao in Beijing.

The state visit is intended to boost bilateral economic partnerships, and begin exports of oil to the world's second largest economy.

The five day trip is seen as key to the Canadian leader, who is keen to boost trade with China and thereby reduce reliance on the U.S. market.

China does not as yet import any Canadian oil but says it is interested in doing so.

Harper secured a series of other deals with Beijing, including one that Ottawa said should allow the immediate resumption of Canadian beef and tallow exports after a nine year pause.

The two nations also signed an extension of a memorandum of understanding on energy issues, covering oil, gas and nuclear energy.

Harper's trip includes a meeting with the Chinese Vice Premier before travelling to Guangzhou - Southern China's economic hub.

Simon Hanna, Reuters.