As China undergoes “rapid industrialization”, its huge energy demand has Canada’s attention.
OTTAWA—China is looking to forge a “win-win” energy partnership with Canada that would set an example for the world and satisfy the country’s “huge” demand for resources.
Prime Minister Stephen Harper heads to China in two weeks to chat-up our energy and resources, according to Zhang Junsai, China’s ambassador to Canada.
“China is undergoing rapid industrialization and urbanization, and its demand for energy and resources is simply huge,” said Junsai. “Canada, on the other hand, is rich in energy and resources, has a stable political situation as well as favourable conditions for investment.”
He said the two countries have every reason to forge a stable resource partnership.
But the move reveals how China’s communist leaders view Canada and how important Alberta’s immense oil reserves are to fuelling the Chinese economy.
In the last year alone, Chinese state-owned enterprises have invested $5 billion in Canada’s resource sector.
Harper has made it clear that he views China and its Asian neighbours as important new markets, a point he has emphasized when the Obama administration rejected the $7-billion Keystone XL pipeline project that would have transported oilsands crude to refineries in Texas.
Harper has also made clear he wants to see approval of the Northern Gateway pipeline to the British Columbia coast in order to ship bitumen products to Asia.
The issue surfaced on the weekend in the U.S. Republican primaries when GOP presidential contender Newt Gingrich denounced a possible Canada-China energy partnership as “truly a danger” to American interests.
China, however, views such a partnership “as a shining example of a win-win scenario even among states of different social systems and stages of development,” said Zhang.
Zhang noted Canada has “featured advantages” in several industrial sectors including high-tech, environmental protection, clean energy, information technology, aerospace and the bio-pharmaceutical industry. China hopes to expand their own efforts in those areas.
“China is more than ready to learn from Canada, to introduce more Canadian advanced technology into China and to launch joint science research with Canada,” he said.