Ottawa has indicated it will exclude Chinese telecommunication equipment giant Huawei Technologies Co Ltd from helping build a secure government communications network because of possible security risks, and is also in the midst of reviewing a controversial $ 15.1 billion Chinese bid for Canadian oil and gas explorer Nexen Inc.
“We will ensure as a government that we have not only a growing relationship with China but a relationship with China that is in Canada’s best interests,” Harper said on a visit to Dakar, Senegal.
“The relationship with China is important, but at the same time it’s complex. It’s complex because the Chinese obviously have very different … economic and political systems, and that’s why some of these particular transactions raise concerns,” he said.
The extension, while expected, comes amid a growing furor over alleged Chinese espionage in North America. There are also fears that a successful bid by the Chinese state-owned oil company could spark a wave of mega takeovers of Canadian energy producers by foreign enterprises.
The oil sands Alberta are the world’s third-largest proven oil reserve. By some estimates, Canada requires more than C$ 600 billion ($ 614 billion) of energy investments in the next decade, and much of it will have to come from outside the country.
Nexen’s own portfolio includes operations in the oil sands, shale assets in British Columbia and projects in other parts of the world.
CNOOC’s proposal, launched in July, carries a higher price tag than any other foreign takeover bid attempted by a Chinese company. The proposed deal is being reviewed under the Investment Canada Act that allows the government to examine whether a deal is of “net benefit” to the country.