Dragon Fears: An Examination of Canadian Perceptions of Chinese State-Owned Enterprises


  • Quentin Lau University of Alberta




CNOOC, Nexen, National Security, International Trade


“What’s so scary about the CNOOC-Nexen deal?” 1 reads an article regarding the recent takeover bid. Although the deal has been fully approved, the question is one of many still gripping the issue over CNOOC’s (China National Offshore Oil Corporation) takeover bid of Nexen, a Calgary based oil and gas company. 2 However, this ongoing issue has broader implications; specifically if Chinese state-owned enterprises (hereafter SOEs) present a challenge or opportunity for Canadian national security interests. With the decline in trade and economic activity in the United States, Canada’s largest trading partner, new opportunities for Canada have presented themselves. China is one of them, a rapidly developing state whose hunger for energy continues to grow. The uneasiness that has come with the CNOOC-Nexen deal and the Canadian government’s recent response, displays the misguided approach of Canada towards the growing Chinese power. This paper explores the erroneous conceptions of Chinese SOEs, the implications of this and the possible solutions that can benefit Canada in the long term.