“I think Canada`s very large trade imbalance with China is probably due to China`s failure to live up to its WTO commitment,” Burton said, “because there are so many sectors that are blocked, so many non-tariff barriers and so many difficulties for Canadian companies to maintain their proprietary intellectual property and manufacturing processes in China.” The report also notes that the Canada-China trade deficit has been growing steadily since 2010. Canada`s annual trade deficit with China exceeded CAD 44 billion in 2017, more than Canada`s overall trade deficit of $42 billion. China`s economic changes have been truly remarkable, and there are good reasons (historical and political) to believe that the pursuit of constructive engagement and liberal trade negotiations could effectively defuse the Communist Party`s coercive tendencies. Indeed, the most impressive evolution of this period was the emergence of an increasingly cosmopolitan and confident bourgeois caste, which modernity wanted to adopt on several levels. China now has about 200 million middle-class consumers, and the most optimistic forecasts indicate that 25% of the country`s population could achieve middle-class status by 2010. The impact and importance of this explosion of prosperity should not be underestimated. As Barrington Moore`s study on the “social origins of democracy and dictatorship” has shown, there is an imperative link between entrepreneurship and the prosperity of the middle class, as well as freedom and democracy. In essence, Moore argued that the “democratic path to modern society” depended on the existence of a “strong and independent” pay class, cut off in the now famous phrase “No bourgeoisie, no democracy.” A new consensus seems to have been reached on Parliament Hill. The pious sermon, which generally marks the Conservative government`s approach to Sino-Canadian relations, has been cleverly supplanted by a far more cautious tactic: diplomacy! The focus is now on China`s enormous potential as an emerging consumer market and a place of investment for Canadian banking and insurance interests.