Trudeau pushes agenda on China - carefully; The Meng Wanzhou affair has set the Liberal government on a diplomatic knife's edge

February 4, 2019

Source: https://www.thestar.com/politics/federal/2019/02/02/liberal-government-will-still-seek-deeper-trade-ties-despite-beijing-fury-over-meng-extradition.html

 

.... For University of Ottawa professor Roland Paris, who had a front-row seat to the early days of Trudeau's engagement with China, a lot has transpired since 2015 when Trudeau met Xi at the G20 in Turkey on his first trip abroad as prime minister.

Paris, Trudeau's former foreign policy adviser, says he now shares the security concerns about Huawei, and sees China behaving "much more aggressively both at home and internationally."

But Paris says it doesn't serve Canada's interests "to adopt a Cold War mentality."

China, then and now, "is unlike any power we've ever seen," said Paris. "The Soviet Union was a full-spectrum enemy during the Cold War. China is not an enemy. It is simultaneously a partner and an adversary."

What that means, he says, "is we have to defend ourselves against China when it acts aggressively but it's also in our interests to co-operate with China in areas of mutual interest."

That includes increasing exports to China and working with its Communist Party leaders on the environment and tackling climate change, for example.

But Paris says the Trudeau government has to also be realistic about public opinion even as it continues to engage with China.

"By detaining Canadians," said Paris, "China has acted with a measure of aggressiveness that Canadians will not forget."

Please reload

Please reload

Roland Paris
Graduate School of Public and International Affairs

University of Ottawa

120 University Private, Room 6053

Ottawa, Ontario, K1Y 3M5, Canada

rparis@uottawa.ca

+1 (613) 562-5800 x4047
@rolandparis

© Roland Paris 2019