Albertans’ Views on China Annual Survey

Key findings of the 2016 Albertan Survey

1. Over three quarters of Albertans think technology collaboration with China is desirable.

2. There is a growing recognition among Albertans that Chinese investment in Alberta benefits the province’s economy. A large number of supporters of all major political parties (federal and provincial) share that perception.

3. More than two in five Albertans want a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with China, and over a quarter of Albertans are undecided.

• When asked whether the Canadian government should negotiate a Free Trade Agreement with China, 44% agreed, and another 28% selected the “neither” option. Opposition to FTA negotiations stems from the 28% of Albertans who disagreed.

4. The broad support for energy exports to China ranges between 65 and 68% across the province.

5. 37% of Albertans agree that the ability to speak Chinese will become more important. This is up by 1 percentage point since 2014 and by 5 percentage points since 2012.

6. Over one in five Albertans are in favour of investment leading to full Chinese ownership.
• Although still a minority, Albertans in favour of full ownership by Chinese investors increased by 6% since 2014.

7. 44% of Albertans consider Chinese investment in the form of partial ownership to be acceptable.
• The percentage of acceptance is trending upward (up from 37% in 2012).
• Calgary and Edmonton residents are more welcoming of Chinese investment than the rest of the province.

8. Over two -fifths of respondents (42%) disagree with the idea that there should be more controls on Chinese investments compared to other foreign investments.

9. Over three quarters of Albertans see China’s human rights record as an issue in doing business in China.
• When asked whether Alberta should take China's human rights record into consideration when conducting business in China, 77% agreed.
• Those with post-secondary education or higher are the most concerned about China’s human rights record.

10. Albertans who have a post-secondary education level and are in the age group “18-34 years old” are more likely to have positive opinions about China. Meanwhile, the age group “55-64 years old” is the least favourable to China. Respondents of this group are most likely to perceive China’s economic strength as a threat to Canada.