Buying Canadian lithium firm part of China’s aim to dominate high-tech manufacturing, MPs told – by Anja Karadeglija (National Post – January 26, 2022)

How can Canada build a lithium supply chain or any other critical mineral for that matter, when it allows the assets of Canadian companies to be acquired’

China buying a Canadian lithium mining company is part of a wider strategy by the Chinese to become “dominant in global high-tech manufacturing,” an analyst told a parliamentary committee Wednesday.

“Securing access to lithium and other critical mineral reserves is essential to the achievement” of that industrial policy, said Jeff Kucharski, a senior fellow at the Macdonald-Laurier Institute and adjunct professor at Royal Roads University.

China’s industrial policy “seeks to make China dominant in global high tech manufacturing,” and it aims include “mobilizing state-owned enterprises to acquire intellectual property, technologies and assets abroad, with the overall aim to surpass Western countries,” he said.

The Canadian mining company Neo-Lithium, which has a lithium mine in Argentina, announced it was being bought by the Zijin Mining Group in October. The House of Commons industry committee launched a study of the $960-million acquisition after the Conservatives criticized the government earlier this month for not holding a national security review of the transaction.

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