Introduction: Changing Dimensions of the Canada-China Relations

(Toronto: Canadian International Council, 2011) 1-17

36 Pages Posted: 17 Dec 2013

See all articles by Pitman Potter

Pitman Potter

The University of British Columbia, Peter A. Allard School of Law

Thomas Adams


Date Written: 2011


Bilateral relations with the People’s Republic of China involve matters of great strategic interest to Canada. Recent changes in the frequency of high level visits; the effect, style and content of bilateral communications; and perspectives held by various sectors in each country about the other all suggest that the Canada-China relationship has changed significantly in recent years. China remains vitally important to Canada for a variety of reasons and in a variety of sectors. Political and diplomatic cooperation on issues of direct bilateral concern and also on issues of global import remains critically important. Commercial and trade ties linking Canada with the world’s second largest and fastest growing economy are of obvious significance. Cultural and civil society ties, including immigration patterns and the ancillary effects they generate, are also important. While the diversity of links between Canada and China militates in favour of giving due attention to a multiplicity of sub-national business, academic, and civil society links, bilateral cooperation at the federal/central government level remains essential. Thus, the present conditions and future implications of relations with China should continue to command attention from Canadians.

In keeping with the objectives of the Canadian International Council to advance research and dialogue on international affairs issues of importance and interest to Canadians, the CIC Canada-China Relations Project (“CCRP”) has focused on building a non-partisan policy consensus for Canada’s relationship with China, recognizing China’s robust approach to sovereignty while also advancing Canadian interests. The papers in this 420 page volume provide insight and analysis on a range of issues important to the Canada-China relationship. Some focus on issues of immediate importance, while others examine ‘over the horizon’ issues, which may not command the front pages of newspapers today but surely will in the years to come. This combination of current and emerging policy issues on China will hopefully add value to the ongoing discussions on the Canada-China relationship. Taken together, the collected papers also make the case for the importance of China to Canada, and hence the importance of getting the relationship right.

Project Themes The research, analysis, and policy dialogue activities of the CCRP were developed along three Thematic Areas, namely: a) Domestic contexts for Canada-China relations; b) Economic dimensions of the relationship; c) Collaboration on global issues of common concern.

The full report of the Canadian International Council may be found online at their website.

Keywords: Canada, China, International relations

Suggested Citation

Potter, Pitman and Adams, Thomas, Introduction: Changing Dimensions of the Canada-China Relations (2011). (Toronto: Canadian International Council, 2011) 1-17, Available at SSRN:

Pitman Potter (Contact Author)

The University of British Columbia, Peter A. Allard School of Law ( email )

1822 East Mall
Vancouver, British Columbia V6T 1Z1

Thomas Adams


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