Justin Trudeau with Li Keqiang: Twitter
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Ottawa, Jul 5 (Canadian-Media): According to a Nanos Research poll, more than half of Canadians favouring Liberal government’s pursuit of an amicable bilateral free-trade agreement with China was strong opposied by a majority of Canadians, concerning sale of their technological military-based companies to Chinese investors, media reports said.
Chinese Premier Li Keqiang hoped that Canada would relax the restrictions on high-tech exports to China believing this would promote the growth of bilateral trade relations between the two countries, Globe and Mail News reports said.
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau also believed relaxing restrictions on investment from China was in keeping with his foreign-policy objective to deepen trade relations, including a free-trade deal, with China, .
But according to the Nanos poll, commissioned by The Globe and Mail, more than three-quarters of Canadians said Chinese investors should not be allowed to buy two Canadian high tech firms with developed military-edge technology.
U.S. Defence Department also expressed concern, reported The New York Times earlier this year, about Chinese investing in startups important technology such as artificial intelligence, robotics and augmented reality.
“Although people understand it is important to have good trade relations with China, they find it more difficult to understand why transactions that could directly impact our national security or have military purposes – how that connects,” Pollster Nanos said.
Canadian Security Intelligence Service, fearing the transfer of Canada’s advanced military laser technology to China, also opposed Chinese’ takeover of such Canadian military-edge technology firms.
Canadian Security Intelligenece Service: Twitter
76 percent of Canadians, according to Nanos poll, opposed the takeover of Norsat while only 18 percent supported the purchase and 78 percent of Canadians opposed China’s purchase of Montreal-based ITF Technologies.
“For many Canadians, they actually believe those transactions put Canada at risk,” Globe and Mail quoted NikNanos in an interview. “If the government continues to embark on this path, it will probably be a significant political risk for them."
(Reporting by Asha Bajaj)