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Should Canada seek deeper economic ties with China?

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A secret foreign policy document obtained by CBC News suggests that the Harper government should hasten its pace in forging trade deals with China and other emerging economies. 

Prime Minister Stephen Harper lauded stronger relations with China during a speech in Guangzhou during his visit to China in February. A confidential draft document makes deepening trade ties with Asia the main focus of Canada's new foreign policy. Prime Minister Stephen Harper lauded stronger relations with China during a speech in Guangzhou during his visit to China in February. A confidential draft document makes deepening trade ties with Asia the main focus of Canada's new foreign policy. (Kin Cheung/Associated Press)"Our influence and credibility with some of these new and emerging powers is not as strong as it needs to be and could be," the document reads. 

"Canada's trade and investment relations with new economies, leading with Asia, must deepen, and as a country we must become more relevant to our new partners," it said. 

The document also mentions Africa as place with a fast growing middle class. "The fact remains that, over time, African countries have the potential to challenge the likes of Brazil and China as major investment destinations," it said. 

Many in the CBC Community were skeptical about deeper relationships in new markets, especially China. 

  • "Personally, I don't trust the Chinese government at all. Crawling into bed at any cost will do nothing but provide short term gain for long term pain," said Therealjuice.

  • "Harper you first took power and called out China on their human rights abuses and record which I applauded you for. But the Chinese responded by souring what little trade there was. They do not forget these slights easily. In return you went and signed horrible trade agreements with little to no reciprocity for Canada, Canadians or Canadian businesses. You can do better than that, we the Canadian people deserve better than that. So come on and get something proper done while you're still in office," said Warhippy. 

But some commenters disagreed. 

  • "Canada must create more trade with diverse markets. Build the relationship with China and stop buying all that U.S.-fed anti-Chinese propaganda. Yes, China has a few problems, but don't forget it also has over 1 Billion people, 20 million in just Shanghai. Is it really our place to tell them how to conduct their internal affairs? I live in China. I see a government that does very much to help its lowest class of people. Harpers right about Africa, just as the Chinese are heavily focused in Africa. It's a huge market with a large growing middle class! Get in there and carve out a piece of business for Canada while there is time left!" said Fire88Fly. 

What do you think? Should Canada seek deeper economic ties with China?

Tags: Canada, money, Politics

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