China, Canada & the World: Bilateral Relations and Geopolitical Consequences



The Global Risk Institute (GRI) hosted Margaret McCuaig-Johnston, Senior Fellow, Institute for Science, Society, and Policy at the University of Ottawa, as part of its webinar series, “Managing Risk Through and After the Pandemic.” The event focused on the geopolitical dynamics at play between China, Canada and the larger world. In her prepared remarks, Margaret spoke to:

  • China’s COVID-19 response and related controversies
  • The status of Canada-China bilateral relations, and current issues of interest and/or strain, including citizen detentions, human rights, social credit, and cyber security concerns
  • The experience of Canadian businesses in China, including joint ventures and technology transfers
  • Ongoing controversies stemming from changes to national security law in Hong Kong and implications for foreign companies like financial institutions

Topics raised in the question & answer period included:

  • The course of the U.S.-China relationship and its implications for Canada
  • Huawei and 5G telecommunications in Canada
  • The Belt & Road Initiative (BRI) and Chinese overseas investment
  • The long-term prospects for Canadian financial institutions in China


Margaret McCuaig-Johnston

Senior Fellow, Institute for Science, Society and Policy, University of Ottawa
Senior Fellow, China Institute, University of Alberta
Distinguished Fellow, Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada

Margaret McCuaig-Johnston is Senior Fellow in the Institute for Science, Society and Policy at the University of Ottawa where she is lecturing and writing on China’s innovation policies since 2013. In addition, she is a Senior Fellow at the China Institute of the University of Alberta where she has published research on China’s innovation system and Canada-China S&T relations. In 2018 she accepted an invitation to be a Distinguished Fellow of the Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada where she has published on China’s incubators for start-up companies, as well as Research Associate at the Center for China Innovation Research & Training at Duke University in Kunshan. Margaret is a former Executive Vice-President at the National Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC), and has served as an Assistant Deputy Minister at the federal Department of Finance and Natural Resources Canada. Margaret’s op-eds and interviews have been published in the Washington Post, the Washington Times, the Globe and Mail, the Vancouver Star, the Ottawa Citizen, the BBC, CBC, CTV, Global News, Bloomberg BNN, and Radio Free Asia among others.