Are we at risk of letting China dictate our Taiwan policy?

We mustn't let fear of China determine our relationship with Taiwan

Are we at risk of letting China dictate our Taiwan policy?According to recent news reports, a delegation of eight Canadian MPs and senators from the Canada-Taiwan Friendship Group and a parliamentary trade committee are planning to visit Taiwan as early as October. Although such visits are not unusual, this time around the announcement has attracted more attention than usual. This is largely due to China’s…

Softwood lumber dispute is bad for consumers and producers

The big losers from the tariff are, without a doubt, American consumers

Softwood lumber dispute is bad for consumers and producersBy Olivier Rancourt and Gabriel Giguere The Canadian softwood lumber dispute with the United States, which has been dragging on for some 40 years now, is long overdue for a resolution. Despite setbacks before WTO and NAFTA tribunals, accusations of subsidized production from American decision-makers and producers continue. The accusations have notably led to the…

Strategic procrastination is Canada’s preferred Indo-Pacific strategy

But it could turn out to be the wisest approach to follow

Strategic procrastination is Canada’s preferred Indo-Pacific strategyPlans are useless, but planning is indispensable Dwight Eisenhower I was recently invited to present my views on Canada’s Indo-Pacific Strategy in discussion with Asian ambassadors in Ottawa. I noted that it’s better not to hold one’s breath waiting for a government policy document. That’s why Canada’s preferred foreign policy approach in normal times is…

Canada effectively absent in the Indo-Pacific

Ottawa’s non-existent profile in Indo-Pacific affairs a cause for concern and disappointment

Canada effectively absent in the Indo-PacificIf Canada has pretensions to being an Indo-Pacific power, then it has a difficult image problem to overcome – not in terms of its national reputation as a constructive and valued member of the international community, which are “a given,” but in terms of its “presence” and “engagement” with this pivotal region. While it is…

A guide to creating a muscular Canadian foreign service

We have to decide if we want to have opinions or influence

A guide to creating a muscular Canadian foreign serviceThere’s an old saying in the government: “There’s a book inside all retired senior officials and Ambassadors.” With some modesty, I might have a few chapters and articles, and occasionally one percolates to the surface and is published. The invitation I received to testify recently before the Senate Committee on Foreign Affairs and Trade caused…

Five Eyes’ influence challenged by the emergence of the Quad

Anxiety in London, Ottawa and Wellington that their influence is waning

Five Eyes’ influence challenged by the emergence of the QuadRecently there has been a welcome debate about the extent to which the Five Eyes security partnership between Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, and the United States can and should be mobilized for strategic and diplomatic activities outside of its traditional intelligence, military, and law enforcement collaborations. This debate was further fuelled in…

Biden can’t go back to a pre-Trump China policy

Xi has changed the game, and the U.S. needs to maintain "ambiguity" while constantly adapting to avoid war in the Taiwan Strait

Biden can’t go back to a pre-Trump China policyIn recent months, a number of American security analysts have argued that the United States’ longstanding use of “strategic ambiguity” in the Taiwan Strait has outlived its utility. For example, in widely reported remarks, retired U.S. Adm. James Stavridis posited that “the longstanding U.S. policy of ‘strategic ambiguity,’ supporting Taiwan militarily without a formal commitment…

Energy industry and Canada’s national interests go hand in hand

No more than a sliver of Canada’s natural resources should ever be controlled by non-democracies

Energy industry and Canada’s national interests go hand in handCanadians are used to peace and relative prosperity compared to the rest of the world and are occasionally naïve about it. They assume it’s a regular state of affairs rather than an exception. Canada is an exception, in large part because the country is surrounded by three oceans with one neighbour, the United States, a…

China’s economic interests limit the effectiveness of its threats

We are in a stronger position to deal with China than many assume

China’s economic interests limit the effectiveness of its threatsIn a scene from the pre-COVID world in December 2019, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau sat down for an interview in a crowded, bustling Italian restaurant in Montreal. Clinging on to power with a minority government, Trudeau’s Liberal Party had just survived a bruising election. But with Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou still under house arrest in…

CBC trying to shake free of its mandate as a public broadcaster

The RCI controversy shows CBC’s primary purpose is the acquisition – at the expense of private broadcasters – of audiences and money

CBC trying to shake free of its mandate as a public broadcasterAn uprising backed by former prime minister Joe Clark and actor Donald Sutherland is trying to force the Canadian Broadcasting Corp. to hit pause on its plans to dismantle Radio Canada International (RCI). If successful, the move to save CBC’s once-vaunted service that took Canada to the world will throw a wrench into the CBC’s…

Canada’s foreign policy needs a course correction

We can’t simply watch global events unfold. We have a valuable contribution to make and we’re up to the challenge

Canada’s foreign policy needs a course correctionCanada’s foreign policy has strayed from its traditional path, losing the traction it once had on the world stage. Canada’s last two attempts to secure a seat as a non-permanent member of the United Nations Security Council failed. Our international standing as a neutral middle power and an honest broker has lost its shine. Our…

We must stand up to China’s bully tactics

Unless checked, Communist China’s economic muscle will continue to be used to acquire increasing influence around the world

We must stand up to China’s bully tacticsHistorians make lousy prophets. We find it hard enough to predict the past, much less what’s going to happen in the future. Nonetheless, I’m going to attempt to predict some imminent geopolitical strategy. As the People’s Republic of China makes threats against Canada for detaining an executive of a Chinese corporation, as it warns the…

China clearly has Canada’s number when it comes to food safety

China has played Canada in impressive fashion over the last six months and the meat ban is a masterful stroke

China clearly has Canada’s number when it comes to food safetyCanada is losing the food safety optics game against China. While Canada has demonstrated many times that its food safety record is outstanding – in fact, one of the best in the world – none of it matters now. Since Meng Wanzhou, chief financial officer of Huawei, was arrested in Vancouver in December 2018 on…

Soybeans, pork, lobsters and beef could be next on China’s hit list

Canada's diplomatic juveniles have jeopardized the Canadian target of $75 billion in agriculture and food exports by 2025

Soybeans, pork, lobsters and beef could be next on China’s hit listTwo recent cases make Canada’s political elite look like diplomatic juveniles. The SNC-Lavalin debacle refuses to go away, garnering global media attention for weeks. The Meng Wanzhou case in Vancouver has made things much worse. The arrest of Meng – a Huawei vice-president and daughter of the company’s CEO – in December exposed Canada to…