China key in Canada's 'return to Asia': report

By Yu Jincui in Guangzhou Published: 2016/10/16 16:23:28

A cascade of recent cooperation and agreements reached between China and Canada will help form the increasingly sound and stable ties between the two nations, an annual report on the development of Canada (2016) said. 

The report, released on Saturday by the Center for Canadian Studies, Guangdong University of Foreign Studies, is the third blue book that focuses on in-depth research of Canada's politics, economy, security and diplomacy in China.  

Since Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau took office, he has been dedicated to resetting Canada's relationship with China, which was strained during the Harper years. 

Rachael Bedlington, Consul General of Canada in Guangzhou, said that Trudeau's visit to China, followed by Chinese Premier Li Keqiang's visit to Canada, has boosted the China-Canada relationship to what Li called "a golden decade." She believes the release of the blue book will play a significant role in improving Chinese understanding of Canada's politics, economy and diplomacy.   

According to the report, Canada will return to a multilateral approach in foreign relations. For one thing, it will expand ties with Asia and Latin America, two new emerging markets, while consolidating its traditional trade relationship with the US and Europe. For the other, the Trudeau government will place more importance on the China-Canada relationship while maintaining close relations with the US. 

Arguably the mid-1990s were Canada's "Golden Age of Asia." Now Canada will "return to Asia" both in economic and security fields, the report claims. Economically, China has been Canada's biggest trading partner in Asia and Canada is also increasing economic and trade relations with other major Asian countries including South Korea, India and the Philippines. 

From the perspective of security, the report argues, Canada's "return to Asia" will be marked by adjusting the role it plays between China and the US, trying to act as a "mediator" amid the power transition in Asia. Besides Canada will be more active in participating in varied multi-lateral security mechanisms in Asia. 

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