Howard Balloch on Canada's China Policy

Canada cannot ignore the reality that China will be a vital player in global efforts to confront global challenges—from pandemics to the illegal drug trade to climate change.

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Canada formally recognized the People’s Republic of China fifty years ago last month. The government of Pierre Trudeau had come to power with the intent of recognizing Beijing because it believed that formal relations were simply a function of recognizing fact. The facts spoke for themselves. The Communist Party in Beijing was running China and the parallel Guomingdang claims from Taipei were clearly hollow.  The Canadian government simply decided to depart from the US-led coalition to exclude Beijing from its rightful place on the international stage. The decision was made largely absent of economic considerations, with China deep in the grips of the Cultural Revolution, poorer based on its GDP per capita than all but 1 percent of the rest of the world.

Early Easy Steps

The decision to recognize Beijing was the second serious decision about China made by Canadian governments since 1949.  The first was the decision made by the Diefenbaker government a decade earlier to ship wheat to China during the famine created by the Great Leap Forward. This too was a simple decision: the Minister of Agriculture brought the issue to cabinet, Prime Minister Diefenbaker simply said “hunger trumps politics” – despite the US “Trading With the Enemy” embargo. 

By the end of the 1970s, the Cultural Revolution was in the past and change was in the wind. The Canadian business community picked up the scent of economic reform early and the Canada China Business Council came into being with its first visit to China just months before Deng Xiaoping’s famous reform-launching “white cat, black cat” speech in December of 1978.  

By the mid-1980s the Canadian government was organizing trade missions, opening new offices, building a new embassy, and welcoming senior Chinese leaders for regular visits.  Universities were expanding links with Chinese counterparts that had been shuttered during the Cultural Revolution and cut off from western contacts since the 1920s.  Cultural and sporting exchanges were expanding. Using Canadian concessional financing, Chinese state entities were buying Canadian telecommunications, electricity transmission,  and other equipment.  A “China Policy” was emerging in fact, if not in articulated doctrine. 

At the end of the 1980s the Tiananmen crisis rocked the world and forced Ottawa, along with other western capitals, to re-evaluate its approach to China. And for the first time, this was complicated, with substantial economic interests at stake and parliamentarians and press editorials and much of the public calling for us to turn our backs on China.

An Explicit Policy Emerges 

What emerged in the immediate aftermath of Tiananmen was the first comprehensive “China Policy” publicly articulated by any Canadian government. 

The Foreign Minister of the day was former Prime Minister Joe Clark, and he called together a “National Round Table on China”, which brought to Ottawa forty representatives with a diverse array of interests in the relationship, from large and small businesses to academics and human-rights groups to Chinese-Canadian associations. Clark asked questions, listened and summarized what he had heard, which was then reflected directly in the policy framework made public a week before the then upcoming G-7 Summit. The intent, successful as it turned out, was to lead a G-7 consensus rather than having to accede to an unpalatable consensus dictated by others. 

The policy was balanced. While eschewing high-level visits in the immediate aftermath of the crackdown, it stated that Canada would not become anti-China or push China towards isolation, while trying to encourage change in Chinese behaviour through a relatively coordinated approach with like-minded countries.  We emphasized that existing links forged by government, industry, and academics since opening up should be preserved and supported, and that new initiatives in the relationship should primarily focus on people-to-people exchanges. Our development program and our practice of supporting Canadian exports through concessional financing from Export Development Canada (EDC) were not set aside.

The ban on high-level visits did not last long. Brent Scowcroft, President George H. W. Bush’s National Security Advisor, was sent secretly to Beijing in less than a year, senior Chinese were received in both Tokyo and Paris in less than two, and Canada hosted a visit by Vice Premier Zhu Rongji shortly thereafter. But much of the rest of the policy framework was to survive, albeit refined and recalibrated. 

Four Pillars of Engagement

Less than seven years after the Tiananmen crisis, I was appointed Canadian Ambassador to China and my mandate letter made explicit that I was to pursue Canada’s relationship of engagement with China based on four pillars: an economic partnership that would benefit Canadian commercial interests; sustainable development; peace and security; and human rights and the institutionalization of the rule of law.  The four pillars were based on the belief that China was on a general path of convergence with the West with respect to both economic and social change and that Chinese institutions and practices would adjust or evolve accordingly, and that western countries could play a supportive role in that evolution. 

To us foreign policy practitioners, engagement meant the pursuit of a variety of interests, including the encouragement of change in the areas of human rights and the rule of law. But neither my mandate letter nor any government pronouncement suggested that our engagement would lead China to become a western-style parliamentary democracy.

Between the early 1990s and December of 2018 the official relationship between Ottawa and Beijing went through some warmer and cooler phases, but the importance of China to Canada never ceased to grow.  China emerged as Canada’s second largest export market, a significant market for our insurance and aerospace companies, a major source of capital investment for our resource industries, and a key source of international students for our universities.  In short, Canadian economic interests became ever more deeply engaged in China and the government did its best to help support and pursue those interests.

Decoupling or Doubling Down?

The detention of Meng Wenzhou in December 2018 and the retaliatory arrests of Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor radically rocked the Canada-China relationship. High-level visits stopped.  And China threw Canada into the basket of countries with which it pursued its new “coercive diplomacy”, buttressed by threats from its newly minted “wolf warrior” diplomats.

It has now become almost a political imperative that the current Canadian government articulate a new “China Policy”, reset from the warmth and priority of the past decades.  Voices have called for diversifying our trade away from China, for shutting off scientific and academic exchanges, and for excluding Chinese entities from investing in Canadian resource or high technology sectors.  Some have called for containment or decoupling, arguing that the current situation proves our decades-long policy of engagement a failure. 

I disagree.  I think the policy of engagement with China proved to be an extraordinary historical success, and that rather than setting it aside during this period of challenge and confrontation, we should double-down and pursue even deeper engagement, recalibrated and diversified. We can and should do so, albeit more alert to risk than in the past and without ever forgoing the fundamental principles that are the bedrock of our liberal democracy.

Before I expand on this, let me spend a few minutes touching on the interface of our past policy of engagement and China’s long path of almost continuous change, focusing particularly on the last few years of Xi Jinping’s leadership.  

Reform or Counter-Reform

A year after Xi Jinping came to power, at the Third Plenum of the 18th Party Congress late in 2013, the Chinese Communist Party rubber-stamped his “60-Point Policy”, an agenda for a very wide set of social, legal and economic reforms that indeed looked like a blueprint for a period of sustained change and progress along the multi-decade largely ideology-free voyage begun by Deng Xiaoping and pursued by all his successors, accelerated by some. It promised substantial hukou registration system reform, rural land ownership reform, tax reform, a strong affirmation of the role of markets and the private sector, a retreat of the state from active control of major state-owned enterprises (SOEs), major changes in environmental protection and a big push towards transforming China into a law-based country. 

If we were to have judged the effectiveness of Canada’s engagement policy at the time the “60-Point Policy” was promulgated in 2013, our conclusion would have been almost unequivocally positive.  

Sadly, seven years later, we realize that the path of domestic Chinese reform was not irreversible. While Deng Xiaoping unleashed a great Chinese reformation, Xi has managed in a few short years to unleash a thorough counter-reformation.  This counter-reformation was born out of a deep sense of insecurity about the long-term stability of China and the ongoing centrality of the party which Xi Jinping himself now led.  It was aimed at four fundamental objectives: reverse the decay of the Communist Party and the party’s status as accepted guarantor of national ideology, reverse the decline of the state as an instrument of the party; overcome China’s technological subservience; and assert China’s weight and influence on the global stage.

Anti-Corruption and Legal Reform

Xi Jinping’s massive anti-corruption efforts, led by his incorruptible lieutenant Wang Qishan (who has no children and thus less temptation than others), was his first hallmark effort to put his stamp on the party and on the country.  Xi used his anti-corruption campaign not only to root out a vast number of corrupt officials at all levels of the party and government—more than a million by some measures—but also to consolidate his own power by focusing on ambitious competitors and particularly those with “princeling” backgrounds like his own, Bo Xilai being the most prominent example. 

Major reforms in China’s legal system had been made between the mid-1990s and 2013, and Canada’s efforts to support these changes were not insubstantial.  Codified commercial law, family law, laws governing the protection of intellectual property, and environmental law were all retooled or introduced in ways that demonstrated real convergence with universal legal principles. A new generation of lawyers, many trained in the US and Canada and other western countries provided an important part of the infrastructure for the administration of law, and thousands of judges passed through the Canadian-financed National Judges College where they took lectures from both domestic and foreign judges, including justices from the Supreme Court of Canada. We even financed and supported local legal aid clinics whose purpose was to support the most vulnerable from official abuse or the denial of basic civil rights. Early in this decade another positive step was taken when local judicial structures were removed from interference by local party bosses and brought into a single national structure under the central justice ministry.  The result was an increased faith in the judicial system, and in people’s ability to seek redress in the courts, even from the abuse of power by local officials.  Foreigners were not automatically considered guilty when in conflict with domestic counterparts, and we even saw compensatory awards granted foreigners in intellectual property disputes. 

But, and it is a very big but, while the administration of law today is fairer and more law-based than it ever used to be for a plethora of issues and conflicts, Xi Jinping’s anti-corruption drive excluded from normal judicial norms and practice all matters relating to corruption, with a party body, the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection, making all determinations on guilt or innocence. On matters related to public or national security, the party reasserted direct control and continues to dictate verdicts and sentences to kangaroo courts which pronounce them.  New laws have been regularly promulgated over the past few years without real debate to further limit freedom of expression or other basic rights assured in China’s own constitution, to be imposed not only domestically but also on Hong Kong and extraterritorially as well. And the atrocious treatment of the Uighur minority in Xinjiang makes a complete mockery of the constitutionally guaranteed freedom of religion. The once-hopeful phrase “Yi Fa Zhi Guo” (“law-based country”) has sadly come to simply mean the party using laws to rule as it sees fit. 

If advances in legal reform have been reversed and hopes of convergence in the rule of law blunted in recent years, what about other dimensions of change and other objectives in our broad-based policy of engagement?

Economic Reform

In the realm of economic policy, the situation defies an easy answer. There has been some real movement in the positive direction.  The regulatory environment facing business has been constantly lightened, with red tape reduced for both domestic and foreign firms. Intellectual property protection has improved. Monetary policy has become as finely tuned as in any developed country. Fiscal policy has advanced with the rollout of a national Value Added Tax (VAT), a sophisticated use of sectoral tax adjustments, and a crackdown on off-balance sheet borrowing by local governments. Controls on foreign direct and inbound portfolio investment have been loosened and bond markets liberalized. Competition law has been strengthened. In most areas of economic policy, convergence with international practice has continued. And environmental policies of all sorts, from measures to reduce particulate air pollution to support for renewable power to fulsome support for global efforts to combat climate change, China is clearly converging with the policies of progressive Europe. 

But in the two critical areas of state-owned enterprise reform and the use of state financial institutions to achieve industrial policy objectives, we can see significant divergence from earlier reform paths and the 2013 promises, as well as from agreed international norms.

State-Owned Enterprise Reform

When I arrived in China in the mid-1990s, the dismantling of a majority of the vast numbers of unproductive SOEs, those controlled at the local and provincial level, was well underway. The reforms begun under Zhu Rongji, in part to prepare China to meet the challenges and obligations posed by entry into the WTO, hastened the move to limit state ownership to large enterprises in key sectors, remove from them their traditional social obligations and introduce efficiencies and improved management, making them effectively normal market-based corporations.  The 2013 reforms were aimed at taking this same objective to a new level, by withdrawing the involvement of the state to that of a normal shareholder, freeing up SOE boards and management to make decisions with the same objectives as private companies. A model of the ideal SOE with international holdings was to bring in the best possible management and board directors without concern about nationality or party membership, and to list on international stock exchanges with the support of foreign institutional investors. 

In 2014 and 2015, the State Council issued a series of policies on SOE reform that went in the opposite direction to that laid out in the 2013 reforms.  Size and market dominance replaced efficiency in efforts to rationalize industry sectors dominated by the state.  Inefficient behemoths were created by merging the two massive steel firms BaoGang and WuGang, the two rolling stock companies CNR and CSR, and the two huge shipping firms COSCO and China Shipping. In each case the result has been the creation of the largest company in the world in each particular sector, able with size and a tolerance for razor thin returns to outcompete global competitors.

The concept of “mixed ownership” was intended, through the introduction of private capital, to result in improved efficiency and better corporate governance. But because of the explicit objectives of sustained governmental control and more direct and intrusive party supervision set out in the 2015 “guiding principles”, it has really only been through the strong-arming of domestic private equity firms and large corporations that any private capital has been attracted.  An example of this was the much-heralded investment of Alibaba, Baidu, Tencent and others into China Unicom in the late summer of 2017.  The initial press announcements claimed that the state had reduced its holdings to less than 40 percent.  What actually happened was that the individual leaders of these large private companies bent to government pressure and bought about 11 percent of China Unicom, and they did it with their own rather than corporate funds to avoid future balance-sheet impairments. The state instructed domestic private equity firms which were in reality creatures of other SOEs to invest as well, with the result that the state still controlled some 60 percent of China Unicom.  The same thing happened with Sinopec’s partial divestiture of its retail gas station and convenience store subsidiary, a transaction which left truly private investors holding only 10 percent of the firm.

In spite of the newfound love for the state sector in the halls of Zhongnanhai, and indeed in part because of the desire to favour and protect them, most state-owned enterprises are still financially struggling, inefficient and decidedly un-nimble. But it really doesn't seem to have mattered to the Chinese leadership, as long as they are big and do the party’s bidding, particularly in participating enthusiastically in such strategic ventures as the Belt and Road initiative.

The “Made in 2025” Program and Industrial Policy

An even more radical divergence from the earlier path of economic reform, if not an egregious setting aside of formal obligations under the WTO, was the “Made In China 2025” policy, developed under party instruction in 2014 and formally announced early in 2015. This was the clearest indication of Xi Jinping’s vision for the dominant role of China in tomorrow’s globalized economy. It was nothing short of a direct repudiation of the retreat of the state as a direct economic actor. Ten priority sectors of the modern economy, from electric vehicles and high-end medical devices, to robotics and aerospace, were selected to be domestically dominated by Chinese brands to the tune of 70 percent by 2025, and this was to be achieved by directing massive amounts of state capital into Chinese companies, primarily state firms or firms with close ties to the state, indigenizing and substituting foreign technologies, and capturing global market share in each sector as well. The international reaction to this aggressive industrial policy has of course been negative and has resulted in both general and specific measures to limit Chinese corporate access to international markets. The case of Huawei is but one example.

Primacy of the Party

Alongside the reversals embodied in the new approach to SOE reform and the muscular industrial policy that impacted on the strategic plans of both state and private companies was an intrusive effort to increase the influence of the Communist Party in both.  All firms were obligated to have party committees and party representatives in senior management. While this had always been the case in theory, the practice in most firms was not taken very seriously. This changed quickly.  By 2016 it was clear that party supervision was real and intrusive. Management “audits”, led by and reporting to the party, were conducted on both domestic and international subsidiaries of major SOEs, and the results and recommendations imposed on management. Large private firms with significant international footprints, many of which had paid only light lip-service to party directives and party involvement in the past, now had to take both very seriously or risk having their business interests circumscribed or, in some cases, even their senior executives detained. 

And as a further effort to eradicate sources of impurity in the party, individual party members, whether active or retired from their professional careers, were instructed to resign their membership on foreign boards and other bodies, even international advisory boards of most academic and non-governmental organizations (except those created by or sufficiently controlled by China). I personally have friends who were instructed to step down from the boards of elite American universities and professional schools that they had attended.  

Will the Counter-Reform Be Reversed?

Xi Jinping’s aggressive approach to international and Hong Kong affairs has led many countries to re-assess their China policies. We all watch China’s island-building in the South China Sea, its heavy-handed measures to bring Hong Kong to heel, its “wolf warrior” diplomacy and its import-banning retaliation to any criticism from foreign governments. These have all led to China auditioning for and winning the role of principal enemy in the United States, whose weltanschauung has always required one. For Canada, the arbitrary arrest of the two Michaels has ensured a receptive environment here for the demonization of China, even if we have so far avoided importing from our southern neighbour the almost hysterical McCarthyist pillorying of anyone engaged with China and a level of anti-Chinese racism that only fertilizes Chinese nationalism. But the calls for replacing engagement with de-coupling and containment are loud and frequent.

As we look at this recent “little steps forward, big steps back” record on Chinese reform, the question is whether Xi’s counter-reformation has irrevocably changed China and, if so, whether this newly emerged China requires parallel and equally irrevocable changes in Canada’s policy approach. I do not believe either to be so. 

There are some indications of positive change. On May 18th of this year, the Party Central Committee issued a policy document with the catchy title of “Guidance on Speeding Up the Improvement of the Socialist Market Economic System in the New Era”.  This was a somewhat surprising compilation of key reforms remarkably similar to those elucidated in the discarded “60-Point Policy” of more than six years earlier.  It called for better respect of and protection for private rights, business and intellectual property, deeper fiscal reform, a reduced role of government in the allocation of resources and in the setting of prices, land reform, reform of the labour market and the household registration system, a crackdown on counterfeit goods, and a rollback of non-tariff barriers to trade. It also explicitly stated that China would “unswervingly expand opening-up, draw on the experience of other mature market economy systems and achievements of other civilizations, and accelerate efforts to align domestic systems and rules with international ones”. 

Will the Xi Jinping Consensus Hold?

Will the “Guidance” document of this past May have more traction than the 2013 Third Plenum policy piece?  It is simply too early to tell. A number of subsequent minor policy announcements imply positive movement. The recently concluded 5th Plenum suggests renewed commitments to international rules and cooperation. The “Made in China 2025” policy has evaporated in favour of the more-modest goal of technology self-sufficiency by 2035.  The plenum’s language is general, however, and we will learn more when the 14th Five-Year Plan is published early next year.  It does appear, however, that there are at least some senior people at the centre of the party as well as in the key agencies of government who believe that errors have been made during these past six years.

If there are party leaders who believe that the policies of Xi Jinping’s counter-reformation were misguided, they are not alone. 

Somewhere deep in the back alleys of my brain is something I read, probably sitting in a corner of McGill’s Redpath Library, about the dual challenge of authoritarian governance: the challenge of sustaining authoritarian rule over the masses and the challenge of sharing the benefits of rule with key elites.  Over the last forty years, China has done this magnificently. The support of the masses has been effectively purchased with real and sustained economic progress for the average citizen. The support of the elites has been purchased through their participation in that progress as well, amplified by outsize benefits far beyond those enjoyed by the average citizen. And that resulted in the Chinese leadership being able to forge and maintain a strong and supportive consensus among elites: SOE leaders, private businesspeople, academics, military leaders, the stars of the worlds of film and television, of fashion and sport. 

That consensus is beginning to fray. Reformist SOE leaders are not happy with the sidelining of real reform in the state sector.  Private business leaders are not happy with increased party intrusion into their decision-making, and unhappy being treated as second-class citizens when it comes to being strong-armed into participating in “mixed-ownership” models in the state sector. They do not like being treated as instruments of party policy in either controlling domestic social media or advancing foreign expansionist objectives along the Belt and Road.  Along with many in think-tanks and progressive internationalist corners of the state bureaucracy, they are impacted by and bemoan growing anti-China sentiment abroad, and regret China leaving the gradualist path of improved civil rights and the institutionalization of the rule of law.

University leaders and professors, who applauded the gradual opening up and liberalization of universities and academic research, are deeply unhappy with the re-imposition of political interference in everything from the selection of teaching material to the pursuit of trans-border cooperation in research.  And they are very unhappy with the growing suppression of even on-campus freedom of expression. The sacking of Tsinghua University law Professor Xu Zhangrun eighteen months ago sent a very cold shudder through the entire academic world. 

Does Canada Need a New China Policy?

So, what do we do about all of this?  How do we deal with an outwardly aggressive China, where many dimensions of reform have been frozen or reversed, and where hope of progress in the freedoms of religion and expression seems to have been dashed?

In spite of the deep damage the Meng-Michael-Michael crisis has had on the Canada-China relationship and also on Canadian attitudes towards the Chinese government, general views of Canada among the Chinese people remain positive; we should continue to reach out well beyond official circles. And well beyond Beijing and Shanghai to the elites and markets in the 2nd and 3rd and 4th tier cities and markets, many of which are the size of mid-size European countries. 

There are literally hundreds of thousands of Chinese who have studied in Canada, three or four thousand at McGill alone, and who now live back in China. Add to them the many thousands of academics, professionals, business leaders, sportspeople, actors, musicians and film producers with whom Canadians have built and sustained relations. These extensive networks are our synapses for the exercise of Canada’s soft power. 

We must not become prey to McCarthyist propaganda that uses nationality or race to impute hostile intent. While there is no doubt there have been efforts to steal industrial or technological secrets from our companies, laboratories and universities, there is no evidence to suggest that the vast majority of cooperative research projects or academic exchanges have had nefarious intent or damaging results.  

Risks can be mitigated with vigilance at both the institutional and personal levels, combined with zero tolerance by our security and public safety agencies. We must keep our eyes wide open to ensure that the hands of cooperation we extend or the doors we keep open are never abused. Confucius Institutes and Chinese corporations, both private and state-owned, should be welcomed, but we should establish clear rules of acceptable behaviour, and then enforce those rules assiduously. 

The federal government has a responsibility to continue to pursue export markets for goods that Canadians make or grow and services that Canadian insurers and financiers provide.  Supporting the well-being of farmers in the prairies or miners in British Columbia or lobster fishermen in the Atlantic provinces should not be sacrificed on the altar of a unidimensional value-based foreign policy.  We should of course do our utmost to attract more productive investment from other Asian powers, like Japan, Korea, Taiwan, and India. And we should increase our student intake from Korea and Vietnam and South Asia.  But calls for us to diversify completely our export markets away from China are as silly as they are hollow: how many smaller country markets would we have to monopolize completely to offset the Chinese market for life insurance, for canola, pork, lobster, copper or potash, for Canada Goose jackets or Lululemon leggings?  

And of course our government must never fail to protect Canadians, including those whose origins are from China, and to do its best to deter China from unacceptable behaviour, internationally, in Canada and even in China. We should do so quietly, and usually if not always in concert with countries who share our views and values.  “Megaphone diplomacy” is rarely successful, and when conducted alone it is generally more about pleasing domestic audiences than making real progress.  

Canada has always used multilateralism to increase our weight internationally, to further our own aims.  Over the years we have found in China much support for multilateral institutions and a willingness to live, not always perfectly, by international rules. In fact, much of the structural changes behind economic reform in China would never have been politically possible in China without multilateral pressure. Witness China’s entry into the WTO, one of the most significant motors of domestic change since 1978. 

The Trump presidency, which eschewed all forms of multilateralism, greatly strengthened the hand of Chinese unilateralists.  In the expectation that the new US administration will return to multilateral tables, we should intensify our pursuit of our own interests in China and bring through multilateral efforts and institutions a coherent and collective encouragement to China to resume its path of convergence with the broader international community.  The departure from the scene of one of the two great unilateralists may well weaken the hand of the other. 

The alternative to sustained and vigilant engagement, to exclude or shun China, would ignore all the good that has come from past interchange, and would ignore the reality that China will be a vital player for the rest of our lives and those of our children in technological progress, international capital flows, global efforts to confront global challenges—from pandemics to the illegal drug trade to climate change. 

Balancing all this is not simple. Foreign policy, which is the pursuit of the complex and not always consistent interests of Canada in a turbulent and often unwelcoming world, was never meant to be easy.  

In closing, I would encourage us all to remember that China is not monolithic. China is not only Xi Jinping any more than the United States is or has been only Donald Trump. China is also not static. It has changed fundamentally and enormously over the last forty years and will keep on changing.  China will continue to evolve economically, socially and, yes, as all educated and well-off societies everywhere have done over time, in its own way and according to its own timetable, politically.

About the author

Former diplomat Howard Balloch is a corporate director and private investor, and a partner of Hong Kong-based PacBridge Partners, an investment group that specializes in providing early stage capital to Canadian companies using disruptive technologies to build scalable businesses.

During his time serving under the Canadian Government, he was Ambassador to China, and was also accredited as the Ambassador to Mongolia and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea. From 1991-1994, he held the position of Assistant Deputy Minister for Asia and Canada’s Representative to the Asia-Pacific Economic Corporation. Throughout the late 1980s, he served as the Director of North Asia Relations and head of the China Task Force during the Tiananmen crisis in 1989.

Later, Balloch became the Founder and Chairman of The Balloch Group (TBG) a Beijing-based merchant banking firm (2001-11), financial advisor to both stateowned and private Chinese firms in their overseas acquisitions and investments, and to international firms investing in China. Natural resources, healthcare, education, and alternative energy were sectors of significant activity for TBG, which was involved in more than 30 public listings or follow-on offerings, and more than a dozen M&A transactions, including some $20bn of Chinese investment into Canada. TBG was ranked in 2008, 2009 and 2010 as China’s leading boutique investment bank.

Mr. Balloch received his BA (1972) and MA (1973) from McGill University and continued his graduate studies at the University of Toronto and at the Fondation Nationale des Sciences Politiques in Paris.

A photograph showing the interior of the Chinese parliament building

The Myth of Simple Choices: Canada and its China Policy

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