Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper is visiting China. He is not alone. Natural Resources Minister Joe Oliver is with him and also the Foreign Affairs Minister and Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz. The delegation will be in China from Feb. 8 to 11.
Politicians are not the only members of the delegation. Big Business is well represented especially in the oil and gas area where there representatives from eight different companies. But other sectors are also represented with Air Canada, Bombardier, Manulife, and Scotiabank representatives in the group as well.
Not long ago Chinese investment in Canada could be measured in the millions. Now it is about 20 billion. Harper is wisely enough trying to diversity his market for Canadian oil and gas. Now most exports are to the U.S. The Chinese for their part are eager to find sources of energy supplies for their fast growing economy.
The NDP, the official opposition party, is not opposed to trade but thinks that Harper should bring up the human rights situation in China. No doubt Harper will do so and he is expected to bring up Syria as an issue as well. Harper is staunchly anti-communist. His big business supporters are interested in profits not ideology or even human rights except in terms of public relations for the most part. The reality will be not only business as usual but a growing trade between China and Canada. For more see this article. China may loan us a couple of Panda bears.