Ottawa is ordering Chinese state-owned companies to immediately divest their interests in three Canadian critical minerals companies, after the federal government faced an avalanche of criticism earlier in the year for allowing too much investment from the Asian superpower into the domestic mining sector.
The government’s order marks the second time in a week it has taken a more aggressive stand against China, after allowing it to acquire a Canadian critical minerals company earlier this year amid little scrutiny.
Mining is one of the most capital-intensive industries on the planet, and historically it made sense for Canadian miners to turn to China as a source of funding, but in recent years China has emerged as a clear national security threat. In its announcement on Wednesday, the federal government said it made its decision after consulting the security and intelligence community.
Ottawa had already tightened the rules on any new investments into Canada’s critical minerals sector last Friday. Then, Ottawa said it would only allow transactions involving investments by state-owned firms into Canadian critical minerals companies to be approved on an “exceptional basis.”
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