"Xi Jinping has used very strong language in favor of globalization, in favor of freer trade. But it would be good if he could match those statements with actions," ambassador John McCallum said, referring to Xi's speeches at Davos last year and at the Boao forum this year.
"Their actions have not always matched their words. So the more they could act, the more it would help the world to preserve the international system and avoid a descent into a trade war," he added.
The escalating trade tensions between the two largest economies in the world have resulted in China slapping a 25 percent levy on U.S. imports including products such as soybeans, cars and whiskey — a tit-for-tat after President Donald Trump targeted a list of Chinese imports.
China is the biggest export market for Canadian soybeans and while it might be true that Canada might stand to benefit from tariffs on U.S. soybeans , the ambassador told CNBC's Martin Soong that a trade war in general will still have a negative impact on Canada, and the global economy at large.