China urges Canada to relax curbs on high-tech exports -Xinhua

(In sixth paragraph, changes spokeswomen to spokeswoman)

OTTAWA, April 18 (Reuters) - Chinese Premier Li Keqiang on

Tuesday pressed Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to relax

curbs on high-tech exports to China and also suggested the two

nations work together on clean energy, China's official Xinhua

news agency said.

Trudeau wants to boost trade with China as a way of

lessening dependence on exports to the United States, especially

given protectionist signs from the administration of President

Donald Trump.

Canada, citing national security needs, places strict

restrictions on the Canadian assets that China and other nations

can buy.

Reporting on a phone call between the two leaders, Xinhua

said, "The Chinese premier hoped that Canada would relax the

restrictions on high-tech exports to China, believing this would

be helpful to a balanced growth of bilateral trade."

Last month, Trudeau's Liberals allowed Hong Kong-based O-Net

Technologies Group Ltd to buy a Canadian technology

company, reversing a 2015 decision by the former Conservative

government to block the deal on national security grounds.

Trudeau spokeswoman Andree-Lyne Halle confirmed the two men

had spoken and said more details would be released later.

China is looking to boost its global environmental role as

Trump shows signs of pulling back from green commitments the

United States made under previous President Barack Obama.

Li also told Trudeau that the two nations should "strengthen

cooperation on tackling climate change and cooperate in new

areas such as clean energy", according to Xinhua.

In September, during a visit by Li to Ottawa, Canada and

China said they would start exploratory talks on a free trade

pact.

(Reporting by David Ljunggren; Editing by Cynthia Osterman)