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China to Buy Up Canada's Resources

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China to Buy Up Canada's Resources

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In an exclusive interview with The Globe and Mail, Chinese Foreign Minister Li Zhaoxing made it plain that the controversial $7-billion CAD takeover of Noranda Inc., one of Canada's largest natural resource companies, is just the beginning. "Given our rapid economic growth, we're facing an acute shortage of natural resources," the Foreign Minister told The Globe. "No matter how plentiful our natural resources, when you divide them by our population of 1.3 billion, the figure will be very small," he said. "The Chinese government is encouraging Chinese enterprises to make investments in Canada, particularly in the field of resources exploitation." Please note 'investments' is a politically correct term that more often than not also involves a change in ownership and/or control.

It is known, for example, that two of China's largest state-controlled oil companies are eyeing "investments" in Alberta's oil sands. In addition, other Chinese oil and mining companies are said to be interested in resource-assets held by Canadian companies in Ecuador and Mongolia.

The Noranda takeover, which is to be finalized by November, will be the biggest overseas acquisition by a Chinese corporation. Some Canadian Members of Parliament have raised objections in relation to China's human rights record. Just as important (if not more so), but entirely overlooked by the media, is the strategic implication. Canada has long been a resource supplier to the world. It is for example, one of the world's leading producers, and the world's largest exporter, of non-fuel minerals. Canada is the world's largest exporter of uranium, zinc and potash; second largest producer of nickel, elemental sulfur, asbestos, and cadmium; and among the top five producers of platinum, gypsum, copper, lead, cobalt, titanium, and molybdenum. As for fuel minerals-oil and natural gas-Canada is the world's tenth largest exporter of oil, and the largest exporter of natural gas.

Most of Canada's exports go to the United States. With Chinese companies in control of several Canadian companies, in the event of strategic conflict (i.e. war), who would control these natural resources?

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