The China Institute at the University of Alberta released on July 12 the results of its annual survey on Albertans’ views on China. The China Institute has been surveying Albertans for seven consecutive years on their views on a variety of matters such as China's role in creating future economic opportunities and Chinese investment in the province. Here are some of the key findings from the 2017 survey:
- Albertans view China in an increasingly more positive light: 60% of Albertans want to build stronger ties with China while 49% think China’s increasing economic strength benefits Alberta.
- 79% recognize China as an important export market for the province’s goods and services, 59% would like to see Alberta decrease its economic reliance on the United States, and 76% would like to see Alberta’s economy diversify by way of increased trade with Asia.
- 56% of Albertans view a Canada-China free trade agreement (FTA) as positive for the economy, an increase of 12% from last year’s survey.
- While support for energy exports has historically been high in Alberta, the survey results indicate that it still rose by 11% from 2015, with 76% of Albertans now supporting the building of the necessary midstream infrastructure to allow energy exports to Asia.
Overall, the China Institute’s survey found similar trends in public opinion regarding China to two other recently published surveys: the Asia Pacific Foundations of Canada’s (AFP Canada) 2016 National Opinion Poll and the Canada-China Business Council’s (CCBC) business survey.
- Results from APF Canada’s survey indicated that Canadians are not only recognizing the importance of closer economic relations between the two countries in creating opportunities for business today and in the future, but that they are also warming up to the prospect of a possible FTA with China.
- Results from CCBC’s business survey shows that Canadian and Chinese businesses display an optimism and eagerness to continue growing the bilateral relationship. The survey also highlights various obstacles Canadian and Chinese companies see in growing the relationship, and it provides policy recommendations to reduce government regulations and barriers that inhibit both profitability and business growth.
These survey results are extremely important in understanding the current debate on Canada-China relations. As Paul Evans (UBC) said in his recent analysis of public attitudes and Canada-China relations: “Public attitudes do not dictate public policy but they help shape and are in turn shaped by it.”
China Research Partnership - July 2017 Publication Highlights
The China Research Partnership has been a hub of activity in July. In addition to providing exhaustive news coverage and events related to China’s economic, political, social, and cultural development, and Canada-China relations, here are some recent publications by the research partnership’s experts:
- Following the death on July 13 of Chinese human right activist and Nobel Peace Prize laureate Liu Xiabo, Pitman Potter (UBC) and Josephine Chiu-Duke (UBC) both wrote commentaries to commemorate Liu’s life and the impact of his passing. Potter’s article argues that the death of Liu Xiaobo should “strengthen Canada’s commitment to human rights” and Chui-Duke explains how his actions “not only kept alive the tradition of modern Chinese intellectual pursuit of democracy, but also enriched the record of universal longing for liberty, equality and justice in human history.” The Centre for Chinese Research at the Institute of Asian Research at UBC also organized a special gathering on July 19 to commemorate the life of Liu Xiaobo.
- In a blog on gender activism published by the Washington Post (“Monkey Cage”), Diana Fu (U of T) offers three reasons to explain why the Chinese government is afraid of new-wave feminists and argues that despite that fear authorities should still let these women speak.
- The Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada released a Research Report highlighting eight considerations the Canadian government could explore as it investigates the possibility of a FTA with China.
- Xiaohua Lin (CCIBD) co-authored an article published in China Economic Review on Credit guarantee companies in China.
To keep up with developments in Canada-China research, don't forget to bookmark http://www.china-research-partnership.ca/