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The federal government’s new ambassador to China says Canada can cultivate strong ties there without jeopardizing its relationship with the U.S. But John McCallum, the former immigration minister appointed ambassador to China earlier this month, says it’s also too early to tell whether a potential trade war between those two superpowers could catch Canada in the crossfire.

Canada needs to play a long game with both countries, said Dan Ciuriak, a fellow at the Centre for International Governance Innovation and a former deputy chief economist in the Foreign Affairs Department.

Trump’s election and populist forces elsewhere in the world suggest the current...

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