02/03/2012 05:07 pm ET | Updated Apr 04, 2012

7 Big Topics For Harper's China Trip, Including Pandas (PHOTOS)

Prime Minister Stephen Harper leaves for China Monday with four cabinet ministers and seven MPs in tow. It will be his second visit to the country after initially cool relations when he first took office in 2006.

Harper at first avoided the country over its human rights record, not attending the Beijing Olympics in 2008 after telling reporters in 2006 that he didn’t think Canadians wanted the government to sell out over the “almighty dollar.” He also met with the Dalai Lama, the exiled spiritual leader of Tibet, angering the Chinese government.

In 2009, Harper paid his first visit to China, where the country’s leaders chided him for having waited so long. Chinese President Hu Jintao repaid the visit in 2010 as relations continued to warm and trade continued to increase. He's also bringing along the ministers most important to doing business with China — Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird, International Trade Minister Ed Fast, Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz and Natural Resources Minister Joe Oliver.

With that in mind, here are seven topics that could come up during Harper's meetings in the country.

Harper China Trip