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Ambassador Zhang Junsai addresses Conference on Global Power Shift
2011/05/17

On May 10, His Excellency Zhang Junsai, Ambassador of the People's Republic of China to Canada, addressed the "China and India/Global Power Shift/Opportunities for Canada and Alberta" Conference organized by the University of Alberta and Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada.

Also present at the Conference were Honorable Ed Stelmach, Premier of Alberta, Mr. Yuen Pau Woo, President and CEO of Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada, His Excellency Shashishekhar M. Gavai, High Commissioner for India to Canada and over 200 guests.

In his key note speech, Ambassador Zhang spoke about the changing global order, China's development progress and challenges, China-Canada relations and outlook and China-Canada energy cooperation. Ambassador then took questions from the audience.

Ambassador Zhang was accompanied by Mme Liu Yongfeng, Chinese Consul-General in Calgary, Mr. Jiang Shan, Commercial and Economic Minister Counselor and Mr. Chen Wenshen, Educational Minister Counselor of the Chinese Embassy in Ottawa.

 

China-Canada Relationship in a Changing World

Remarks by Ambassador Zhang Junsai at "China and India: Global Power Shift And Opportunities for Canada and Alberta" Conference By the Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada

May 10, 2011, Edmonton

Distinguished guests,

Ladies and gentlemen,

It's a real pleasure to be part of this conference today during my first visit to Alberta.

Global Power Shift

Today's topic is China and India in a changing world and what does it mean for Canada and Alberta. I shall start with "Global Power Shift".

The global landscape is undergoing complex and profound changes.

One of these changes is the emergence of G-20, consisting of both developed and new markets, as the main platform for global economic governance.

The world economy's recovery is still fragile and unbalanced.

Countries face different policy challenges.

This makes it more difficult and urgent for them to coordinate their economic policies.

The good news is that the G-20 has been faithful to the spirit of coordination and cooperation.

G-20 countries reached consensus on major issues such as the indicators to monitor global economic imbalances.

To ensure that the world economy stays on a strong, sustainable and balanced track,

We need to learn from the past and stick to the principle of mutual benefit and win-win;

We need to encourage inclusive growth and oppose all forms of trade protectionism;

We need to improve the global monetary system and promote new modes of development.

Another significant change is the collective rise of emerging economies, with BRICS as an exemplar.

The emerging economies have become an important force in global affairs.

They are no longer in the backseat of global economic governance.

They have raised their voice.

The emerging economies are now institutional players, rule makers and protectors of interests.

Many global issues cannot be solved without the participation and support of emerging economies.

Last month, at the third BRICS Summit in Sanya, China, India, Brazil, Russia and South Africa reached consensus on a variety of major global issues.

The BRICS also set out a roadmap for multilateral cooperation in fields including finance, commerce, science, technology, agriculture and industry.

The BRICS cooperation mechanism effectively compliments South-North dialogue and South-South cooperation.

Like other multilateral institutions, it's open, transparent, and does not aim at third parties, nor is it a challenge to other countries' interests.

Recently, many people have been discussing China's being world's second largest economy.

They predicted that China's GDP will soon be world's number one.

An IMF report concluded, that calculated on PPP basis, China's GDP will overtake that of the United States in 2016.

Some scholars said that global power is 'shifting' from the West to the East.

To be honest, I disagree with this theory.

Developed countries have for centuries accumulated incredible wealth, which gave them an absolute advantage in capacity and influence.

On the other hand, while developing countries' rapid growth has resulted in a more balanced distribution of global economic power, they don't have much say in global political and economic affairs.

The developing countries are still far behind the developed countries in overall capacity, international outreach, institutional building and economic and social growth.

Countries like China and India will not crow over their faster growth.

There is no need for developed countries to lose sleep.

Global issues are fundamentally about development.

World peace and security cannot be built in the absence of stronger developing countries, smaller South-North gap, fewer living in poor and better world order.

China's internal and external challenges

China is the largest developing country.

We are also one of the most complicated.

On one hand, China's seeing fast urbanization and modernization process and long-term rapid economic growth.

On the other, China's growth is unbalanced. Our income per capita ranks the 103rd in the world.

Based on United Nations standards, there are 150 million Chinese people living in poverty.

To be a global player, China faces three challenges:

Our first challenge is our underlying structural problems:

In 2010, China's economy grew by 10.3 percent to almost six trillion US dollars.

Yet, our foundation for development is weak.

China has a huge population and frequent natural disasters.

There is an increasing gap between the eastern China and western China, urban, rural regions and the rich and poor.

The Chinese population is getting old fast.

Seniors beyond 60 make for 13.7 percent of our population.

We entered the aged society earlier than any developed country.

We still have a long way to go in social welfare by improving health care, education and housing.

There might be many unexpected problems as we change our current development mode for one that put less pressure on our resources and environment.

So, China has much work to do in the process of building a harmonious society.

Our second challenge is how others see us.

China needs the world and vice versa.

We have been committed to the path of peaceful rise.

Yet some people would see China through colored glass no matter what we say or do.

When our economy is catching up, some would say China is a threat.

When our economy is slowing down, some would say China is falling apart.

When we are making progress, some would say China is arrogant or assertive, that sooner or later, China will do what some developed countries once did- invade other countries and prey on others' resources.

Their view of China is always contridicted.

China's constantly in the spotlight. A small move of ours could stir their nerves.

Our third challenge is overstated responsibilities and obligations as a major power.

China is a permanent member of the Security Council.

We are also an important member among emerging economies.

China's gigantic economic size and foreign reserve have led many to think China as a "developed economy" like G-8 countries.

Thus, they want China to take on more international obligations than we could bear.

Some countries have been pressuring China on currency rate, climate change and development aid, ignoring China's national conditions.

China's development cannot avoid being disrupted.

China-Canada relations

China's connections and friendship with Canada know no distance.

In the past 40 years, our relations have made remarkable progress.

Indeed, there were times that the relationship did not go well as we expected.

Yet by working together, China-Canada relationship is back on the right track and is growing.

Our bilateral cooperation has expanded into more fields.

We have seen an increasing number of mutual visits.

Our two countries have set up over 20 consultation mechanisms in politics, security, commerce, trade, anti-terrorism, science, technology, energy and environment.

We are working closely in many multilateral institutions such as the United Nations, WTO, G-20 and APEC.

Our trade continues to grow.

China is Canada's second largest trade partner and import market.

China is also the third largest buyer of Canadian goods and services.

Our two-way trade reached 37.1 billion US dollars.

Chinese companies' investment in Canada is increasing.

Top Canadian manufacturing, high-tech companies and leading financial institutions have found their way into China.

Their business in China is expanding fast.

Some Chinese companies chose Canada as the best place for their North American office.

Our people-to-people exchange is increasing.

Canada is one of the most favored destinations for Chinese students and immigrants.

Canada is now host to over one million overseas Chinese and close to 50 thousand Chinese students.

Chinese has become Canada's third most used language.

China and Canada have established 44 pairs of sister cities and provinces.

The implementation of the Approved Destination Status opened a new chapter in China-Canada partnership in tourism.

Last year alone, Chinese tourists in Canada grew by 20 percent.

Although our commercial and trade ties are growing fast, there is still much more potential.

China's two way trade with Canada is only 1.2 percent of China's total foreign trade and 3.3 percent of that of Canada.

To be quite frank, China's trade with Canada is only 40 percent of that between China and Australia.

Moreover, China's FDI in Canada amount to around two percent of China's total ODI.

While Canada's FDI in China in approximately 0.8 percent of the total foreign investment China attracted.

These numbers are not proportionate to our respective economy size and our strategic partnership.

Recently, people are talking a lot about China-Canada energy cooperation.

With a population of 1.3 billion, China is a major energy consumer.

We need fossil fuels.

We want safe nuclear power.

We are also stepping up our efforts in renewable energy.

In recent years, China-Canada cooperation in energy has beome the highlights of our economic relations.

Chinese energy companies began to work with their Canadian counterparts in oil sand and shale gas through equity purchase.

These moves have caught many eyes.

In the exploration of unconventional energies such as oil sand, Canada sees little competition.

You have mature technologies and an open market.

Partnerships between our energy companies have bright prospects.

What we need to do is to strengthen dialogue and mutual understanding.

I would like to stress, many Chinese energy companies, state-owned or private, have gone public in Mainland China, Hong Kong, United States and other countries.

They play by the rules of global competition.

Their operations cover upstream and downstream business, mechanics manufacturing, drilling technologies, tunnel building and oilfields project.

Their investments have benefited local communities.

Therefore, they deserve equal treatments as other foreign companies.

Besides unconventional energy, we very much look forward to enhancing technological cooperation with Canada in renewable energy, energy conservation and environment protection.

As far as I understand, Canada's Prairie Provinces are not only rich in oil, mineral and forest resources.

They are also home to world's third largest green tech cluster, the biggest Carbon Capture and Storage project and clean coal power project in the world.

These are where China and the Prairie Provinces can work on.

Future of China-Canada relations

China is the largest developing country, while Canada is the largest developed country, in terms of land.

Canada has abundant natural resources, a stable investment environment, innovative technologies and a sound financial system.

China is a giant market and a major source of outbound investment.

Our two countries' economies have a lot to offer each other.

China and Canada are both countries of great influence.

I believe that with the inauguration of the new federal government, China-Canada relations face new opportunities.

On the diplomatic front,

We need to find our shared interests, strengthen mutual trust, mutual benefit and cooperation to enrich our bilateral relationship.

With China's long history and Canada's multiculturalism, we can enhance cultural and people to people exchanges, in order to deepen the mutual understanding and friendship between the Chinese and Canadian people.

On the commercial front,

We welcome the Canadian Government's efforts in trade diversification.

We encourage Chinese and Canadian companies to start cooperating in info tech, energy, resources, infrastructure, transport, environment protection and agriculture.

This way, they will be able to draw on each other's strength.

We will also encourage Chinese companies to take part in Canada's Asia Pacific and Atlantic Gateway strategies.

On the multilateral front,

We need to continue to strengthen our cooperation in G-20, APEC and United Nations.

We need better coordination in economy, finance and climate change.

In doing so, we can work hand in hand to build world prosperity, peace and multilateralism.

Ladies and gentlemen,

China and Canada should both be the champion and beneficiary of this changing world.

We need to give fresh impetus to our bilateral relationship.

I believe that with our politicians, entrepreneurs, scholars and dedicated Chinese and Canadian people working together, China-Canada relationship will see a brighter future.

Thank you.

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