With Canada’s new Indo-Pacific strategy set to be unveiled next month, Foreign Minister Melanie Jolie has warned companies against deepening ties with China, saying there are “geopolitical risks” involved. ing.
In a speech at the Munk School of Global Affairs & Public Policy in Toronto on November 9, Jolie said, “My message to Canadians doing business in or with China is to keep your eyes open. It is that we are
“The decisions you make as a business person are your own,” she said. “As Canada’s top diplomat, my job is to communicate the geopolitical risks associated with doing business with this country.”
She said companies operating in the country face the risk of political interference and violations of trade rules as China increasingly deviates from Canadian values.
“China is becoming an increasingly disruptive world power,” she said, adding that Canada is seeking deeper ties with more democratic and trustworthy countries like India.
Jolie is due to release Canada’s new Indo-Pacific Strategy by early December, outlining key policies for its relationship with China. The Minister today elaborated on several points that will be addressed in the upcoming plan, including Canada’s continued trade partnership with China.
Jolie acknowledged that China is committing human rights abuses, but said Canada also has trade ties with China and said he believed in “diplomacy.”
Jolie said Canada’s next Indo-Pacific strategy will focus on five key points: promoting peace and security; addressing trade and investment issues; upholding human rights; climate change; and promoting Canada’s international presence in the region. said to consist of
“We will challenge China when we need to, and we will work with China when we need to,” she said. “Its sheer scale and influence will require cooperation to deal with the existential pressures of the world.”
The federal government recently announced that it would take steps to protect Canada’s critical mineral supply chains from foreign government investment. China is by far the dominant player in the world’s critical mineral supply chains, with an 80% market share in some cases.
“We will act decisively when investments threaten national security and critical mineral supply chains, both domestically and internationally,” said Francois-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Economic Development, in a November 2 statement.
Last month, Ottawa ordered three Chinese companies to withdraw their investments in Canadian lithium companies.
The action comes on the heels of a government statement that said “substantial transactions by foreign state-owned enterprises in Canada’s vital minerals sector will only be approved in exceptional cases where a net profit is expected.”
Commenting on the issue today, Jolie said the government would address Chinese investments in “other sectors” in the future.
“Canada is open to investment, but at the same time it must not be naive.”
Canadian Press contributed to this report.