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Justin Trudeau heads to China, set to meet with President Xi Jinping – National

BEIJING – Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is on his way to Beijing for a four-day state visit to China, joined by several cabinet ministers.

Government officials said on Friday that the focus of Trudeau’s trip will be deepening economic ties and attracting more Chinese investment to Canada.

The prime minister will meet with Chinese President Xi Jinping on Monday, and will also have meetings with senior Canadian and Chinese executives.

WATCH: PM Trudeau questioned about Canadians detained in China

But in spite of China’s eagerness to start free trade talks after several rounds of exploratory discussions, officials say Canada is still assessing its position.

The government recently released the results of consultations with more than 600 businesses, academics and civil society groups, and some surveyed said a pact with Canada could kill Canadian jobs and reduce the ability to compete against lax labour standards, lower environmental requirements and Chinese state subsidies.

In announcing the trip earlier this week, Trudeau’s office made no mention of free trade, and government officials have said no decision has been made on whether to pursue such negotiations.

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