Canada Launches New Indo-Pacific Strategy, Emphasizes China

On Sunday, Canada launched its long-awaited Indo-Pacific strategy, promising more resources to deal with a disruptive China while working with the world’s second-biggest economy on climate change and trade issues.

The 26-page document outlines $2.6 billion ($1.9 billion) in spending, including boosting Canada’s military presence and cyber security in the region and tightening foreign investment rules to protect intellectual property and Chinese state ownership. This includes preventing enterprises with access to important mineral supplies from being shut down.

The blueprint is to develop ties with a fast-growing region of 40 countries accounting for almost C$50 trillion in economic activity. But the emphasis is on China, which is mentioned more than 50 times, at a moment when bilateral ties are frosty.

“China is an increasingly disruptive global power,” said the strategy. “China is looking to shape the international order into a more permissive environment for interests and values that increasingly depart from ours.”

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s Liberal government wants to broaden trade and monetary ties that are predominantly dependent on the United States. Official data for September show bilateral trade with China accounted for under 7% of the aggregate, compared to 68% for the United States.

The strategy highlighted Beijing’s “foreign interference and progressively coercive treatment of different nations.

“Our approach … is shaped by a realistic and clear-eyed assessment of today’s China. In areas of profound disagreement, we will challenge China,” it said.

Tensions soared in late 2018 after Canadian police detained a Huawei Technologies executive and Beijing subsequently arrested two Canadians on spying charges. All three were released last year, however, relations stay acrid.

Earlier this month, Canada ordered three Chinese companies to sell their investments in vital Canadian minerals, citing national security.

The document mentions China, saying Ottawa will review and update legislation that enables it to “act decisively when investments from state-owned enterprises and other foreign entities affect our supply chains, including those of our vital minerals.” this poses a threat to national security.”

The document recognized significant opportunities for Canadian exporters and said cooperation with Beijing was necessary to address “the world’s existential pressures”, including climate change, global health, and nuclear proliferation.

Goldy Hyder, CEO of the Business Council of Canada, said it is important that the government converts “aspirations to actions and actions into accomplishments.”

The document said Canada would boost its naval presence in the region and “increase our military engagement and intelligence capacity as a means of mitigating coercive behaviour and threats to regional security.”

Canada is part of a Group of Seven major industrialized nations seeking significant measures in response to North Korea’s missile launches.

The document states that Ottawa is working with partners such as the United States and the European Union in this area.

Canada needed to continue to converse with nations it had fundamental disagreements with, it said, however, it did not name them.

By Archana

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