• Tue. Oct 3rd, 2023

Canada’s Indo-Pacific policy will focus on ‘disruptive’ China.

ByJosh Taylor

Nov 28, 2022

Canada unveiled its long-awaited Indo-Pacific strategy on Sunday, outlining C$2.3 billion ($1.7 billion) in expenditures to improve military and cyber security in the area, as well as pledging to cope with a “disruptive” China while cooperating with it on climate change and trade concerns.
According to the proposal, which is outlined in a 26-page paper, Canada would tighten foreign investment laws to preserve intellectual property and prevent Chinese state-owned firms from acquiring crucial resource supplies.
Canada seeks to strengthen connections with the Indo-Pacific region, which includes 40 nations and accounts for almost C$50 trillion in economic activity. However, the emphasis is on China, which is referenced more than 50 times, at a time when bilateral relations are tense.
At a press conference in Vancouver, four cabinet ministers took turns outlining the new policy, saying it was critical for Canada’s national security, environment, and economic goals.
We will participate in diplomacy because we believe it is a strength, but we will also be strong, which is why we now have a very public plan to engage with China,” Foreign Minister Melanie Joly said.
The Liberal administration of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau aims to diversify commercial and economic connections that are mainly reliant on the United States. According to official figures for September, bilateral commerce with China constituted for less than 7% of overall trade, compared to 68% for the United States.
Canada’s push to Asian allies comes at a time when Washington has exhibited signs of growing scepticism toward free trade in recent years.
The memo highlighted Canada’s quandary in building connections with China, which presents huge potential for Canadian exporters, even as Beijing seeks to mould the international order into a more “permissive environment for interests and values that increasingly deviate from ours.”
Challenge china
Nonetheless, the memo stated that collaboration with the world’s second-largest economy was required to address some of the “world’s existential issues,” such as climate change, global health, and nuclear proliferation.
According to the strategy, “China is an increasingly disruptive global power.” “Our approach is based on a realistic and impartial assessment of today’s China. We will launch attacks against China in places where we are profoundly split.”
Tensions with China erupted in late 2018 after Canadian authorities apprehended a Huawei Technologies executive, prompting Beijing to arrest two Canadians on spying allegations. All three were freed last year, but their relationships remain strained.
Canada ordered three Chinese businesses earlier this month to relinquish their stakes in Canadian vital minerals, citing national security concerns.
In a section about China, the memo stated that Ottawa will study and revise legislation to allow it to act “decisively where investments from state-owned businesses and other foreign entities endanger our national security, especially our essential minerals supply chains.”
“Because the area is both broad and varied, one size does not fit all,” Canadian Chamber of Commerce President Perrin Beatty said in a statement, adding that Canada’s goals must be extremely nuanced both within and within nations.
Canada would strengthen its naval presence in the region and “raise our military participation and intelligence capabilities as a method of reducing coercive conduct and risks to regional security,” according to the memo.
Canada is a member of the Group of Seven major industrialized nations, which is calling for tough sanctions in response to North Korean missile launches.
According to the paper, Ottawa is working in the area with partners such as the United States and the European Union.
Canada said it needed to keep talking to countries with which it had fundamental disagreements, but did not name them.

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