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Transcript of Ambassador H.E. Lu Shaye's Interview with the Edmonton Journal

Emma Graney: What are you doing in Alberta? Why are you here?

Lu Shaye: This time I come to Alberta at invitation of CCBC, which held a luncheon yesterday and I delivered a keynote speech to present the situation of development of China and the cooperation between China and Canada, as well as my views on China-Canada bilateral cooperation. I take this opportunity to visit Provincial Government of Alberta, this morning I had a meeting with The Hon. Rachel Notley, Premier of Alberta, and Mr. Jason Krips, Deputy Minister of Economic Development and Trade of Alberta. This afternoon I will visit the University of Alberta, promoting bilateral cooperation in education area. Yesterday I met the Chinese Community in Edmonton.

Emma Graney: Alberta is small when comparing with China, in population and in size. From China’s perspective, why is the relationship important?

Lu Shaye: Alberta is indeed small comparing with China, but we consider Alberta as an equal trading partner of China like other provinces in Canada. We regard Canada as an equal trading partner like other countries. If Alberta has the intention and willingness to cooperate with China, we will always be ready to meet each other in half way.

Emma Graney: China is growing very rapidly, and the economy is huge. A lot of countries are trying to create relationships with China. So I’m wondering what sets Alberta and Canada apart from other countries?

Lu Shaye: To be frank, there’s nothing that sets Alberta or Canada apart from other partners. If we have to find something setting Alberta and Canada apart from other trading partners, I think there are otherwise some unfavorable conditions for Alberta and Canada. For example, Canada is geographically far from China. Alberta is an in-land province. Canada and Alberta are economically dependent on US heavily. There are many internal tariff or non-tariff barriers inside Canada. If we wish to expand our cooperation, we will have to make more efforts than other countries to facilitate our cooperation. In this regard, signing Free Trade Agreement (FTA) is important for our two countries.

Emma Graney: What can Canada and Alberta do to create stronger relationship with China?

Lu Shaye: I am feeling that the Federal Government of Canada and the Provincial Government of Alberta are both favorable to the signing of FTA and promoting trade with China. But the current public opinion is not so favorable to Canada’s cooperation with China, neither is it to the signing of FTA. It is because many of them do not understand China very well, and they do not realize the benefits to cooperate with China. Our priority is to orient the public opinion, and to mobilize the public support for the bilateral cooperation. Many Canadians have never been to China. The only way for them to obtain information of China is media. However, the Canadian mainstream media do not play a positive role in mobilizing the public opinion.

Emma Graney: What can you do to turn public opinion to make Canadians want to do more trade with China?

Lu Shaye: I will do my best to engage with Canadian public and do some promotion. Since my arrival, I have already made 5 public speeches, and 2 interviews with Canadian media. Some of my points of view have been heard and understood by the public. It is a positive beginning. I will continue this work to mobilize Canadian public support for our bilateral cooperation.

Emma Graney: Are there more opportunities for Canada to do more trade with China if Canadians become more open to it?

Lu Shaye: Of course. The development of exchanges and cooperation of our two counties need the public support. Now Chinese people support the government to cooperate with Canada. The Federal Government and the Provincial Governments of Canada also support the cooperation with China. What they need to do is to mobilize the public support.

Emma Graney: Do you think that will happen?

Lu Shaye: I am confident in that. Now I wish the Canadian media to play a positive role in this regard.

Emma Graney: How long have you been in Canada?

Lu Shaye: More than 2 months.

Emma Graney: What is your goal as Ambassador to achieve?

Lu Shaye: The most important is to promote mutual understanding between our two peoples. There are understanding deficits between our two peoples.

Emma Graney: China has made a real move towards solar energy and renewable energy. How is that going?

Lu Shaye: China develops solar energy and clean energy for participating in the fighting against climate change. The Chinese government has promised that we will largely reduce emission of green house gas. We will keep our promise. We are developing the clean tech industry. There are opportunities, good prospects, as well as huge potential of cooperation between China and Canada.

Emma Graney: Alberta is pursuing that as well now. What is your prospect on the cooperation?

Lu Shaye: We will cooperate with all provinces which have willingness on this.

Emma Graney: Do you feel the visit to Alberta is successful?

Lu Shaye: Yes. Until now the visit is very successful. I have reached all my objectives.

Emma Graney: Do you think you will come back to Alberta soon?

Lu Shaye: Of course. Maybe in July I will attend the Calgary Stampede.

Emma Graney: Thank you for your time.

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