Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne has confirmed that she will be leaving on the scheduled one-week trade mission to China on October 25, regardless of the growing pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong. Addressing the questions from reporters on Wednesday, Wynne alleged that “we support the ability of people to express freely their opinions.”
The premier alleged to raise the issue in a meeting with the Chinese consul-general in Toronto on Monday but wouldn’t commit to pressing officials for a speedier pace on voting reforms. Justifying the timing of her trip to meet representatives from about 60 companies, Wynne elucidated that “I am going to work in the context of the federal government’s relations with China.” She alleged that foreign relations is the responsibility of Ottawa. Quite noticeably, China is the second-largest trading partner of Ontario, only behind the United States. Furthermore, Wynne pointed out that Ontario’s huge Chinese population gives the province a “natural connection” with the Communist country and its massive economy.