Albertans’ Views on China Annual Survey

Key findings of the 2015 Albertan Survey

1. Albertans generally acknowledge the importance of decreasing Alberta’s economic reliance on the US and value the importance of diversifying the economy by trading with Asia.

2. A large majority of Albertans are aware of the significance of China as an export market for Alberta and of building infrastructure to export energy to Asia.

3. The vast majority of Albertans recognize the importance of increased tourism from China to the province and acknowledge that international Chinese students contribute to Alberta’s society.

4. There has been a decrease in the percentage of Albertans who agree that China’s economic strength will benefit Alberta and will play an important role in future opportunities for Albertans, and agree with building stronger ties with China.

5. Albertans are growing increasingly skeptical regarding Chinese investment in Alberta in general. (Support for Chinese investment dropped 12 points to 43% in 2015 from the 2011 level while those who object climbed 12% to almost 1 in 3 Albertans).

6. Respondents who received post-secondary education or higher tend to be more open to engaging China than those with high school degrees or less education. Albertans with an advanced education appear to be more comfortable in engaging China.

7. Federal Liberal Party voters tend to be more open than others to Chinese investment. Conservative Party of Canada supporters are generally more supportive of building infrastructure to export energy to Asia, while Green Party supporters are the least supportive in this regard. Federal Conservative voters hold the most favourable views in building stronger ties with China but are the least supportive of decreasing Alberta’s economic reliance on the U.S. market.

8. Calgary tends to be more welcoming to China than Edmonton and non-metropolitan area.

9. The views of Albertans are mixed when it comes to Chinese investment. Although some respondents view Chinese investment as an opportunity for economic growth and job creation in Alberta, others disagree.

10. Albertans who are open to Chinese investment acknowledge the importance of diversification of the economy, reciprocity in the global economy, China’s technological skills and capabilities, and effective regulations of foreign investments.

11. Albertans who do not welcome Chinese investment in Alberta are mainly concerned about foreign control overresources; communist ideology, human rights, as well as labour and environmental standards.