Vancouver, BC - February 1, 2012 - Story: Prime Minister Stephen Harper will visit China from February 7 to 11, 2012. The public debate on what is in Canada’s best interest in engaging with China has gained heightened attention, specifically with reference to issues such as resources and energy, trade and investment and human rights. The APF Canada’s 2011 National Opinion Poll of Canadian Views on Asia showed that Canadians remain conflicted about our engagement with China; while two-thirds believe that China’s influence on the world will surpass that of the U.S. within ten years, a declining number view China’s economic growth as more of an opportunity than a threat. Given this apparent tension between China’s growing importance to Canada and Canadians’ willingness to embrace that new reality, PM Harper’s trip will provide a timely and important opportunity to reflect on what is the best course for Canada’s future engagement with China.
Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada experts available for comment:
Joseph Caron, Former Ambassador to China, Japan and High Commissioner to India, Special Advisor on Asia Pacific to Heenan Blaikie and Distinguished Fellow with the Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada
Wenran Jiang, Senior Fellow of the Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada and Associate Professor at the University of Alberta
Pitman Potter, Senior Fellow of the Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada and Professor of Law at the University of British Columbia
Yuen Pau Woo, President and CEO of the Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada
Kenny Zhang, Senior Research Analyst of the Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada
Trang Nguyen, Communications Manager, Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada, Tel: (604) 630-1540