View IPD’s China Strategy Project.
Table of Contents
|About the China Strategy Project||–||1|
|Foreword||Senator Yuen Pau Woo||3|
|Living With China||Jeremy Paltiel||7|
|Canada’s Dilemma: China & the ‘Rules-Based International Order’||Zachary Paikin||11|
|China’s Economic Rise & Its Implications for Canada||Yanling Wang||18|
|Prospects of Canada-China Cooperation on Energy & Environment||Wenran Jiang||25|
|Canadian Universities & China: Research Collaborations in Question||Paul Evans||33|
|Multiculturalism & Canada-China Relations||Xiaobei Chen||42|
In its national history, Canada has never had to contend with a powerful China. The Opium Wars, which inaugurated China’s ‘century of humiliation’, began nearly three decades prior to Confederation in 1839. When paired with other global trends, the rise of China therefore presents a novel context that will affect Canada’s national interests and the wider international order in complex ways.
As relations between Ottawa and Beijing have deteriorated over recent years, Canada’s two major political parties have taken diametrically opposite approaches. The Liberal Party, while accepting the reality that an ambitious agenda for bilateral cooperation is no longer possible, has attempted to tread a difficult tight rope and not offend Beijing. By contrast, the Conservatives have adopted a much more critical line.
Major differences in foreign policy visions and priorities between Canada’s two leading parties, which are not limited to the issue of China, can lead to policy incoherence and inconsistency whenever there is a change of government. This, in turn, damages the country’s ability to secure its national interests consistently in a changing world.
While cross-partisan disagreement on China is likely to persist, this project aims to identify and explore targeted areas of potential consensus that can underpin a unified national strategy for dealing with China—one that is neither naïve nor overly alarmist. The trade-centric status quo in Canada-China relations, centred on ‘engagement for engagement’s sake’ and insufficiently conscious of strategic considerations, appears to have run its course. However, a full swing of the pendulum into a cold war-type relationship may not be in Canada’s interests either.
The project consisted of a series of publications and roundtable discussions by top Canadian thinkers and China experts probing five key questions concerning Canada’s relationship with China:
- What place does China occupy in Canada’s vision of a rules-based international order?
- What restrictions and reductions in Canada-China trade should the Canadian government and business community be prepared to tolerate?
- What do worsening relations between China and the West imply for Canada’s strategy to tackle climate change?
- What should the current downturn in Canada-China relations and mounting security concerns imply for Canadian universities?
- What do deteriorating relations with Beijing imply for the future of multiculturalism in Canada?
Zachary Paikin is a Non-resident Research Fellow at IPD based in Geneva, Switzerland. He is also a researcher in EU foreign policy at the Centre for European Policy Studies (CEPS) in Brussels, as well as Senior Visiting Fellow at the Global Policy Institute in London, UK.
Senator Yuen Pau Woo sits as an independent Senator representing British Columbia in the Senate of Canada. He served as the Facilitator of the Independent Senators Group from 2017-2021. From 2005-2014, he was President and CEO of the Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada.
Jeremy Paltiel is a Senior Fellow at IPD and a Professor of Political Science at Carleton University in Ottawa. He was a visiting professor at the department of international relations at Tsinghua University in Beijing in 2009 and previously taught at the University of Alberta.
Yanling Wang is a Professor of International Affairs and Associate Director of the Ph.D Program at the Norman Paterson School of International Affairs at Carleton University. Prior to joining the full-time faculty, she worked at the World Bank as a consultant.
Wenran Jiang is a Board Advisor at IPD and President of the Canada-China Energy and Environment Forum. He was a tenured professor in the Department of Political Science at the University of Alberta and Founding Director of its China Institute from 2005-2008.
Paul Evans is the HSBC Chair in Asian Research and a Professor at the School of Public Policy and Global Affairs at the University of British Columbia. From 2005-2008, he served as the Co-CEO and Chairman of the Executive Committee of the Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada.
Xiaobei Chen is a Professor of Sociology at Carleton University focusing on cultural politics in Canadian and Chinese national and transnational contexts, among others. She has consulted community groups and governments on multiculturalism, immigration and settlement, racism, and equity.