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Canada’s relationship with China is long-standing and dates from well before the establishment of diplomatic relations in 1970.
Canada is represented by an embassy in Beijing and consulates general in Chongqing, Guangzhou, Hong Kong and Shanghai. These diplomatic missions are supported by a secondary network of 10 trade offices, spread across the country, which are operated through an arrangement with the Canadian Commercial Corporation.
We work with China at the federal, provincial, territorial and municipal levels. Areas of engagement include trade and investment, environment and climate change, education and culture, and consular affairs.
Through a variety of initiatives, Canada supports work in China on the rule of law, women and children, peaceful pluralism and respect for diversity. We are also actively promoting international norms and values. The Canada Fund for Local Initiatives provides small grants for projects across China that address environmental sustainability, good governance, civil society development and rights protection for disadvantaged groups.
Strong people-to-people ties link Canada and China: over 1.8 million Canadian residents are of Chinese origin, and in 2020, more than 117,000 Chinese students with study permits for six months or more attended Canadian educational institutions. Chinese is Canada’s third most spoken language after English and French, and immigrants born in China (including the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region) form one of the largest groups within Canada’s immigrant population. Growing tourism flows and ongoing cultural exchanges enrich bilateral linkages.
The Canadian Trade Commissioner Service has identified significant commercial opportunities for Canadian companies in a number of key sectors that are well suited to Canadian capabilities and interests. These include: agriculture and agri-food, consumer products, automotive, clean technology, education, mining and energy, engineering, design and infrastructure services, health services and life sciences. In addition to these priority sectors, important opportunities for Canadian companies exist in aerospace innovative transportation, information and communication technologies, and tourism.
Canadian Trade Commissioners analyze and interpret China’s outbound capital trends, and build relationships with key stakeholders to assist Canadian businesses seeking strategic investment opportunities and access to this market.
Canada also proactively manages a strategic relationship with China on economic policy, trade policy, market access and regulatory cooperation, an effort supported in-country by a team of professionals drawn from Canadian federal departments and agencies, including Finance Canada, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, the Canadian Border Services Agency, Innovation Science and Economic Development, and Natural Resources Canada.
Partnerships and organizations
To develop effective responses to today’s most pressing global challenges, Canada and China work closely in multilateral fora, such as:
- Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC)
- International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO)
- Pacific Alliance
- United Nations (UN)
- United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO)
- World Trade Organization (WTO)
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