Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne is anticipated to make a scheduled full-court press for trade in China next week in her attempt to expand Ontario’s sluggish economy and get rid of its long-standing dependence on the American market. The trip is taking place at a time of heightened tension in Sino-Canadian relations as Ottawa and Beijing have recently accused each other of espionage and China continues to tackle the unfinished pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong.
In her remarks, Ms. Wynne stated that “I absolutely support peoples’ right to freedom of speech and the right to gather peacefully. I’ve said that to Chinese representatives here, I will say that in China.” Ms. Wynne’s trip will begin from Nanjing and Shanghai, and end up in Beijing where she will meet up with Quebec Premier Phillipe Couillard and Robert Ghiz of Prince Edward Island. Almost 200 Canadian entrepreneurs, academics and others are anticipated to gather at a wide-ranging effort to drum up business. Mr. Ghiz has stated that “when it comes to what’s happening in Hong Kong, if we want to influence decision-making over there, having relationships is extremely important. … it’s much easier to discuss difficult issues if you’re discussing them among friends.”