The federal government on Tuesday gave the go-ahead for PetroChina to buy a $1.9-billion stake in a pair of oilsands projects in northeast Alberta in what observers are saying herald warming trade ties between the two countries.
Dr. Wenran Jiang said the deal marks a turnaround in policy on the part of the Harper government who had previously been critical of the communist country’s human rights record.
A series of high-profile visits by Canadian officials in recent months, including a state visit by the Prime Minister himself, has rekindled the once-chilly relationship leading to greater confidence on the part of the Chinese to invest in Canada.
“It’s a very small number, but it’s big for Canada,” Wenran said in an interview. “The Chinese recognize there has been a major policy shift. Expect more Chinese investment in the resource and energy sectors ... there will definitely be more.”