This article examines the behavioural patterns of successive Canadian governments in responding to three takeover attempts of iconic high-value Canadian corporates by large state companies from China. The first is China Minmetals Corporation’s attempt to acquire Noranda in 2004–2005 during the Liberal government of Paul Martin, the second is China National Offshore Oil Corporation’s acquisition of Nexen in 2012 during the Conservative government of Stephen Harper, and the third is China Communications Construction Corporation International’s bid for Aecon Group in 2017–2018. This analysis highlights some important similarities in the behavioural response of the Canadian governments across the three cases: ambivalence and wariness. Policy lessons are addressed in the conclusion.
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