Taking a page from the Aussie playbook
Canadians should learn from their friends ‘down under’, the Australians, when it comes to relations with China, says China’s ambassador to Canada, Zhang Junsai. Speaking to columnist Deborah Yedlin of the Calgary Herald, Ambassador Zhang pointed out that Australia has been working overtime to expand its trade and people-to-people ties with China. Case in point: Australia has been aggressively pushing to develop its natural gas reserves and capture a larger share of the Asian market. Indeed, some analysts believe that Australia will ultimately surpass Qatar as the world’s largest exporter of liquefied natural gas. In addition to broadening Canada’s trade relationships in Asia, the federal government should also be encouraging more tourism and educational exchanges from Asia, the Chinese envoy said. Both of these will break down barriers and boost familiarity between Canada and Asian countries, he added. In China, and Asia more generally, Ambassador Zhang argued, personal relationships are often the precursor to any business transaction.