Canada's Harper heads to China with pressure on all sides

  • World
  • Friday, 07 Nov 2014

Canada's Prime Minister Stephen Harper and his wife Laureen wave while boarding a Royal Canadian Air Force plane before departing for China, in Ottawa November 5, 2014. REUTERS/Chris Wattie

HANGZHOU China (Reuters) - Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper arrived in China on Thursday, facing the delicate task of improving economic ties with a major trading partner without sparking voter backlash or a revolt within his own party a year ahead of an election.

Dogged by low approval ratings, a cabinet divided on China policy and popular opposition to closer ties with the Asian giant, Harper needs notable victories, such as the release of a detained Canadian couple, to be able to count the trip a success.

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