Edition 07: How the heating-up China-U.S. trade war could impact Canada, a look at what Destination Canada achieved on its mission to China, and why the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board is going to invest in China’s rental housing sector. Read more…

Quote of the week

“Yes, the U.S. far surpasses China in terms of its share of Canadian exports, but the Chinese market has accounted for a growing share of Canadian goods.” – Benjamin Tal and Katherine Judge, CIBC World Markets

One Big Story: China-U.S. Trade War Heats Up

An update on where the trade war is at, and how Canada fits in:

• Tariffs kicked in on July 6, with the U.S. and China slapping US$34 billion worth of tariffs on each other.

• Hours before the tariffs kicked in, both had some heated words for the other: Beijing accused Washington of “triggering the ‘largest-scale trade war.’” President Trump, meanwhile, warned that the U.S. may put US$500 billion of tariffs into place.

• For China, the tariffs are going to affect their supply of agriculture commodities from the U.S. – that means they’re looking around the world for replacements.

• This may also include an increased amount of exported canola to China from Canada.

• Even though Canada has the potential to grow a few exports during the trade war, this blog post by senior policy analyst Naomi Christensen shows that, ultimately, the trade war will not be good for Canadian exporters.

• This video explains what Trump’s trade escalation with China could mean for the NAFTA renegotiations.

• Chinese tourists are less interested in travelling to the U.S. than in previous years – which could bode well for the Canada-China Year of Tourism.

• Finally, an interesting deep dive on how rare earths could crucial in the trade war.

This week on the noise-o-meter…

Much higher levels of stories involving the provinces and China in the last two weeks than in the several previous weeks, particularly in Alberta. This largely has to do with the potential impacts of the China-U.S. trade war, as well as the Tim Hortons’ expansion, among others.

Stories from the West

• The Edmonton Journal reports that Canadian soybean farmers are becoming “collateral damage” in the China-U.S. trade war, as “hefty tariffs imposed by Beijing highlight the tight cross-border ties between markets.”

• From Academia Group, a story of how China has ended more than 200 transnational joint university programs, including with the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology (NAIT).

• From Business in Vancouver, a look at how Quebec companies are now looking to B.C. for help getting into the Chinese market.

• Finally, from the Huffington Post (via the Canadian Press), a look at how Chinese real estate buyers are going to Montreal as new taxes in Toronto and Vancouver are turning them away.

Issues that Matter

Trade and Investment

• With unease about NAFTA persisting, Canadian firms have started looking elsewhere for business – and China is leading the pack as the one seeing the highest levels of growth.

• The B.C.-based firm Axion is tapping into China’s gaming network: it is launching their game Rising Fire in China, and predict having 100 million players by August.

• By 2028, Tim Hortons will have opened 1,500 stores in China. Not bad — but remember, Starbucks is opening a new store in China every 15 hours.

• Is Silicon Valley still the king of innovation? It may have been dethroned by China.

• A deep dive into how a Chinese immigrant in Canada built a huge tech business – and then fled to China, leaving 1,500 employees and mounds of debt.

• The Canada Pension Plan Investment Board announced it would invest in China’s rental housing sector, with an initial investment of US$817 million.

Clean Energy & Natural Resources

• Chinese company Baidu has started mass-producing self-driving buses.

• A look at how China is forcing itself to move away from coal.

• China just lost the title of country with the fastest growth in renewable energy investment to India.

• Apple is going to invest US$300 million in clean energy in China.

China-Canada Relations

• Destination Canada declared their mission to China a success, coming home with several Memorandum of Understandings.

• A UBC student has been making waves by using satellite images to track suspected re-education camps in China, where Uyghurs are thought to be imprisoned.

• The family of a murdered man claim that his accused killer used the victim’s millions to buy B.C. real estate.

By the Numbers

Sources for graph here, here and here.

The announcement of Tim Hortons’ expansion into China is a reflection of broader global trends, with Starbucks in the clear lead. Here’s an interesting piece on the growing coffee culture in China.

Interesting Tidbits

• Earliest evidence of humans outside of Africa (11 July) BBC

• Was this powerful Chinese Empress a feminist trailblazer? (July 10) New York Times

That’s all for today! Questions, comments? Send them my way! – Sarah Pittman, policy analyst

The China Brief is a compilation of stories and links related to China and its relationship with Canada’s West. The opinions expressed in the links are those of the articles’ authors and don’t necessarily reflect the views of the Canada West Foundation and our affiliates. [i] Media measurement is provided by a third-party, independent media monitoring service. To be included in the noise-o-meter, “China” must be in the title, and one of the four western provinces somewhere in the article. While not a perfect system, this gives us an idea of how much China and the West are being discussed together.