Beijing accuses Canada of ‘suppressing Chinese companies’ – by Steve Chase and Niall McGee (Globe and Mail – November 4, 2022)

Beijing is accusing Canada of “suppressing Chinese companies” by forcing three of its state-controlled corporations to sell their stakes in Canadian critical minerals businesses.

On Wednesday, Ottawa ordered Chinese state-owned companies to immediately divest their interests in three Canadian critical minerals companies. The federal government had faced an avalanche of criticism earlier this year for allowing too much investment from the Asian superpower in Canada’s domestic mining sector.

Innovation Minister François-Philippe Champagne cited national security and protecting supply chains in announcing the order. The targeted companies are Sinomine (Hong Kong) Rare Metals Resources Co., Ltd., Chengze Lithium International Ltd. and Zangge Mining Investment (Chengdu) Co., Ltd. They must sell their stakes in Power Metals Corp., Lithium Chile Inc. and Ultra Lithium Inc., respectively.

This crackdown on Chinese investment in a critical mineral comes as Canada-China relations remain in a deep freeze with no signs of warming up. Beijing locked up two Canadians in 2018 after Ottawa arrested a Chinese tech executive on a U.S. request. While this dispute has been resolved, relations between the West and China have worsened over its treatment of Uyghurs, its quashing of dissent in Hong Kong and its menacing of Taiwan.

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