NATIONAL PULSE – Little consensus on how to resolve tensions with China

Most say human rights should trump trade in guiding Canada’s approach to relations with China


February 1, 2018 – Amid deteriorating diplomatic relations between Beijing and Ottawa triggered by the arrest of Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou, public opinion reflects acute contradictions regarding Canada’s economic, social and political ties with China.

A new survey from the Angus Reid Institute reveals that while a slight majority (52%) of Canadians say they’re dissatisfied with the way the Trudeau government has handled the situation, a slight majority (55%) also think their country was right to arrest Meng in the first place.

And while most say China “can’t be trusted” on human rights, there is considerable disagreement as to whether the issue is any of this country’s business.

Clearer narratives emerge among those who believe human rights and rule of law should be the most important aspect of the China-Canada relationship, and those who say trade and investment should be the priority.

More Key Findings:

  • More than nine-in-ten Canadians (92%) say diplomatic tensions between Canada and China are either “very serious” (34%) or “quite serious” (58%)
  • Nearly two-thirds (62%) say China’s record on human rights and the rule of law should be a more important consideration than trade and investment opportunities for Canada when assessing the Canada-China relationship
  • A plurality (44%) say they would like to see Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his government take a tougher approach to the current conflict.

Link to the poll here:

About Mel Rothenburger (7056 Articles) is a forum about Kamloops and the world. It has more than one million views. Mel Rothenburger is the former Editor of The Daily News in Kamloops, B.C. (retiring in 2012), and past mayor of Kamloops (1999-2005). At he is the publisher, editor, news editor, city editor, reporter, webmaster, and just about anything else you can think of. He is grateful for the contributions of several local columnists. This blog doesn't require a subscription but gratefully accepts donations to help defray costs.

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