Canada’s diplomatic dilemma stems from lack of independence

By Li Qingqing Source:Global Times Published: 2019/5/6 20:58:40

Reuters on Sunday published a report: "Fed up Canada tells US to help with China crisis or forget about favors." Canada was leaning on the US "to help settle a dispute with China, which has started to block imports of vital Canadian commodities amid a dispute over a detained Huawei executive," the report said. 

Why have China-Canada relations become more and more tense? This is because Canada has become the US pawn in Washington's political struggle against Beijing. China has warned Canada of serious consequences if Canada insists on its mistakes. Since Canada has been acting according to US strategy and helping the US oppose China, how can Ottawa expect Beijing to approve?

It seems that Canada failed to understand the grim situation. The truth is Canada may lose both China and the US in the end. In the Reuters report, a Canadian government source said: "It's a very challenging situation. When we raise it with the Americans they just say, 'Dealing with the Chinese is tough.'" 

Ottawa now seems disappointed at the lackluster US response and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's government even signaled that it could "withhold cooperation on major issues" with the US, according to the Reuters report. However, Ottawa should have realized long ago that Washington is not a completely trustworthy friend.

Trapped in a dilemma, some Canadians are accusing China of starting a new cold war. This is completely wrong. The US, not China, is the country that tends to launch a comprehensive cold war. Since Canada is an ally of the US, it naturally stands with the US. 

A new cold war may not happen in the globalization era. Today China's economic cooperation, personnel exchanges and cultural communication with the US and Canada far surpass those in the Cold War era. Canada should make it clear: Ottawa and Beijing are not in a new cold war. China will undoubtedly take actions if Canada blindly follows the US lead and harms China's interests. This is the reality that Canada needs to see clearly.

On this matter, Canada has been acting like a vassal state of the US, not an independent country. Ottawa will pay the price if it follows Washington and swims against the tide of globalization. As it already had disputes with China, Canada needs to adopt more independent diplomacy and cautiously rethink its relations with China and its alliance with the US. 

The current China-Canada relations benefit both countries and further developing their relationship is also in line with their mutual benefits. 

The hard-won China-Canada relations today need to be treasured.

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