Ottawa: Canada’s largest public pension funds have increased the scrutiny of investments in China. This is due to souring relations between the two countries.
In addition, there are allegations that some of these investments are also exploiting China’s Uyghur minorities.
Representatives of the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan and the British Columbia Investment Management Corporation, which manages the pensions of BC’s public sector workers, have recently told the parliamentary committee studying Canada-China relations that they have stopped direct new investment in China.
The ban came amid allegations that China interfered in the 2019 and 2021 Canadian elections and that Canadians opposed to the Communist Party were allegedly being harassed by the Chinese government.
A month ago, Canada expelled an official of China’s consular office, and a few hours after the retaliatory action, China also expelled the Canadian diplomat.
China also alleged that Canada is spoiling relations between the two countries. But two of Canada’s biggest public pension investors, the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board and the Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec, said they want to give Canadians better returns by investing in the world’s second-largest economy, but they also promise that they will invest in China responsibly.
The UN Human Rights Office said in August last year that China was committing “extreme atrocities” against the Uyghur community in its western Xinjiang region, a gross violation of human rights. But the Chinese government calls it a fight against terrorism.