Canadian companies anticipate to boost exports to China assisted by the 2nd China International Import Expo (CIIE), and they hope to see a more stable bilateral relationship in the future to provide better support for trade, said a Canadian agricultural company representative on the eve of the trade fair.
Canadian exports to China are currently suffering from negative factors, but the impacts are not likely to last for long, Frank Su, president of Greenfields Agriculture, which is based in Canada’s grain cradle Saskatoon, told the Global Times on Sunday.
“Obstacles will only be an occasional case, rather than long term. Canada is a country reliant upon exports and there’s no reason for various-levels of Canadian governments to hurt Canada’s exports to China,” Su said.
The Meng Wanzhou incident has provoked a wave of strong backlash towards Canadian products among Chinese consumers, and its effects are still lingering, Li Guoxiang, a research fellow at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences told the Global Times.
If the incident didn’t happen, China-Canada trade may have seen a faster growth, Li added.
Greenfields Agriculture is busy preparing to boost sales for its second CIIE, and it is planning to display a number of agricultural products including wild rice, honey and so forth.
But Su stressed that the export of primary agricultural products like wheat, soybeans and peas from Canada to China are currently encountering difficulties.
“Canadian farmers, including us, are carefully watching the policy shifts and hope that China and Canada’s cooperation can be more stable,” he said.
“China and Canada’s agricultural industries are highly complementary to each other and I believe that the two countries’ agricultural cooperation will scale new heights in the future,” Su noted, adding that Greenfields Agriculture will also present some primary agricultural products at the CIIE to “prepare for” marked business expansion in China in the future.
Another Canadian agricultural giant Arctica Food Group Canada Inc. will also attend the upcoming CIIE to present their camelina products.
Canadians are split over the Meng case, with many wondering why Canada is detaining her at all. Some also believe that Meng would never get a fair trial in the US, citing the current “Red Scare” political climate of the Tump administration.
Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau even went to the great lengths of firing his ambassador to China in January after the envoy spoke openly, saying it would be “great” if the US dropped its extradition request, revealing obvious discord within the nation’s foreign service.
John McCallum told Chinese media in Canada the extradition of Meng to the US “would not be a happy outcome,” sparking anger from the young Canadian PM, who is considered rather inexperienced in foreign affairs, unlike his predecessor Stephen Harper.
Critics point to the prime minister’s hypocritical actions — defending rule of law in the Meng case, but covertly attempting to skirt the rule of law in the SNC Lavalin corruption investigation, to shield the Quebec company (Lavalin’s share price has soared, since Trudeau’s election win).
This has led to much resentment and mistrust among Canadians and criticism of the PM’s perceived weak character.
McCallum also made controversial comments about how Canada had more in common with China than the US under Donald Trump. He has strong personal ties to China, and he pointed out to Chinese-language media that his wife is of Chinese ethnicity and his three sons have Chinese spouses.
Simply put, as long as Justin Trudeau holds Meng hostage in Vancouver, China has reason to be suspicious of Canadian motives.