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Opportunities In Transition

| March 27, 2013


Conference in Brief

This webpage captures the Canada-China Opportunities in Transition Conference, a premier event in Canada on our evolving relationship with our second largest economic partner. Held at the Château Laurier Hotel in Ottawa on 22 March 2013. The material below examines the opportunities and challenges from a Canadian perspective, but also with significant Chinese participation.

An exercise, in part, of track-two diplomacy to foster better understanding and relations. The keynote speaker who kicks-off the conference is from China. On each of the four panels is a panelist from China. Including a vice president of CNOOC, since the purchase of Nexen perhaps the first such official from China to participate in a public forum; a director from the Commission responsible for Chinese five-year plans; and, a senior officer from the National Defense University of the People’s Liberation Army.

Beyond teeter-tottering between perceptions of China as either a challenge or an opportunity, the conference is part of a process of providing a substructure to the relationship, fostering more mature engagement by exploring the relationship in its entirety.


Essential Conference Documents


With the names of the speakers for the three keynote addresses, and the four panels.

Executive Summary

A 1,000 word report on the three keynote addresses and the four panels.


Summary Report

A more complete report of 3,000 words, on the three keynote addresses and the four panels.

Biographical Notes

Information on the 24 conference speakers.


Watch or Read a Keynote Address

The Chinese Dream: Development, Peace and Cooperation

Ambassador Lu Shumin‘s Keynote Address. Ambassador Lu led the delegation from China to the conference. His address kicks off the conference. Ambassador Lu is the Vice President of the People’s Institute of Foreign Affairs, and was the Chinese Ambassador to Canada from 2005 to 2008. Click here to read his speech.

Canadian Engagement of China

Peter Harder‘s Keynote Address. Peter Harder is the President of the Canada China Business Council, and a former Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs from 2003 to 2007. Click here to read his speech.


China as a Responsible Global Stakeholder

Dr. Yukon Huang‘s Keynote Address. Dr. Huang is a Senior Associate at the Carnegie Asia Program and a World Bank Director for China from 1997 to 2004. Click here to read his speech.


Watch a Panel

1. Economic Potential: Strategic Partners?

Chaired by Yuen Pau Woo, the President and CEO of the Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada. This panel explores approaches for Canada to participate in Chinese growth.

2. Energy Sector Partners: Realizing Opportunities

Chaired by Len Edwards, Strategic Advisor at Gowlings and Deputy Minister of International Trade from 2001 to 2004 and Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs from 2007 to 2010. This panel examines the challenges and opportunities associated with exporting oil and natural gas to China.


3. Building Confidence: Security Challenges

Chaired by Gordon Houlden, the Director of the China Institute at the University of Alberta. This panel involves a frank discussion with Senior Colonel Guo Xinning a Vice President at the National Defence University of the People’s Liberation Army.

4. Managing our Future: Outcomes

Chaired by the Honourable John Manley the President and CEO of the Canadian Council of Chief Executives and Deputy Prime Minister from 2002 to 2003. This panel brings together the chairs of the earlier panels together with Peter Harder and Professor Jia Qingguo the Associate Dean of the School of International Studies at Peking University for an assessment of key “take-a-ways.”


Read an Article Associated With the Conference

Teeter-Tottering Between Contending Perceptions of China

David Dyment on why the country represents both a challenge and an opportunity for Canada.

Responding to China’s Military Buildup

Elinor Sloan on what China’s new military capability means for both the U.S. and Canada.


Maritime Security and the Canada-China Relationship

James Manicom makes the case for maritime security to be part of Canada’s China strategy.

The Spectre of Sinophobia

As Chinese investment in Canada grows, we should take care not to repeat the mistakes of the past says Hugh Stephens.


How the ‘Chinese dream’ may lead to free trade with Canada

Carl Meyer’s front page story in Embassy, Canada’s Foreign Policy Newsweekly. A link to Mr. Meyer’s report on the conference, which includes a picture from the conference of the Honourable Bill Graham the CIC’s Co-Vice Chair in conversation with His Excellency Zhang Junsai the Chinese Ambassador to Canada.

CNOOC says Canadian oil glut hits recently acquired Nexen unit

David Ljunggren of Reuters. Based on comments by Mr. Fang Zhi, CNOOC Vice President, who was part of the Chinese delegation to the conference. Mr. Fang was a panelist on Panel Two “Energy Sector Partners: Realizing Opportunities.”


Other Conference Documents

Conference One Pager

This is where you’ll find the key questions for each of the four panels.

Conference Poster

Used for publicity purposes for this sold-out conference of over 230 participants.


Watch an Interview

At the conference, one of our partners, the Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada, interviewed three speakers who were part of the “track-two” delegation from China.  Watch the interviews at the links below.

Ambassador Lu Shumin, Vice President the Chinese People’s Institute of Foreign Affairs, and Chinese Ambassador to Canada from 2005 to 2008:
The Canada-China Strategic Partnership and Evolving Energy Relations;
Chinese Students in Canada, Then and Now.

Professor Jia Qingguo, Associate Dean of the School of International Studies at Peking University:
Trust Deficit: Improving the China-United States Relationship;
Seize the Chinese Opportunity, Canada.

Dr. Zhang Jianping, a director from the Commission responsible for Chinese five-year plans:
Where Does Canada Fit in China’s Free Trade Priority Structure?;
Urbanization, Social Change and Economic Scale in China;
How Does China View the Trans-Pacific Partnership Negotiations?;
China’s Growth Prospects;
Can Canada Take Advantage of Growing Consumption in China?.


Conference Sponsors