2014-15 Canada-China Business Forum Magazine - Page 14

POLICY POLICY CCBC Ad 2014 (modified).pdf 1 09/10/2014 2:33:55 PM Foreign Minister John Baird just completed yet another ministerial visit to China and Prime Minister Stephen Harper is planning to make his third trip to Beijing in November 2014 for the APEC Summit. Although individual Canadians may be doing well in China, Canada is not. Economic relations between the two countries have plateaued. Chinese foreign investment in Canada is slowing for several reasons, some of them political. WANT TO KNOW HOW MUCH CHINA HAS INVESTED IN CANADA? The political relationship has moved a considerable distance from the “cool politics, warm economics” of the first three years of the Harper government. On the surface, relations are cordial; underneath they are conflicted. Eight years in, the Harper government has still not adopted a Cabinet-approved China strategy. The most recent effort failed earlier this summer revealing open fissures in Cabinet and caucus. The Conservatives’ China Policy combines elements of major commercial aspirations especially in the energy sector, a preference for facilitating transactions rather than building relationships, a belief in a smaller governmental role, ideological anti-communism, antipathy for the Chinese Communist Party and ambivalence about China’s emerging role in the world. C M Y CM MY CY CMY Business leaders, Canada-watchers and officials in Beijing remain puzzled about the approach of the Harper government. They are asking what is its longterm strategy, why is it half-hearted in pursuing China and why is it not addressing the growing anxiety in parts of Canada ab