Should Canada change its policy towards China? In fact, the question is already out of date. China has changed its policy towards Canada. Canada has no choice but to adapt.
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To China, Canada was once the gentle, kind-hearted Nordic giant who had the courage to recognize Mao’s China before the US government. Canada was also a hunting ground for obtaining North American technology.
One might think that the situation has changed with the arrest of Meng Wanzhou, the vice president of Huawei, and the hostage of the two Michael.
But it is not. We will remember that, already in 2016, a meeting in Canada between Stéphane Dion, then Minister of Foreign Affairs, and his opposite, Wang Yi, had gone extremely badly.
The arrogant attitude of the Chinese minister foreshadowed the warrior-wolf diplomacy that characterizes China today.
The Chinese government wanted a free trade agreement with Canada, but obviously on terms Canada could not agree to.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau met his counterpart Xi Jinping in August 2016, as part of the G20 Summit.
United States vs. China
Since then, relations between Canada and China have steadily deteriorated. They deteriorated along with the relationship between China and the United States.
It is obvious that Canada cannot face China alone. The coalition he has formed with other countries to put pressure on China in the case of the two Michael’s is the right strategy.
However, we must go further. Canada has no choice but to follow the United States in its fight against China. Because the United States is still a democracy and it is out of the question for Canada to support a totalitarian country.
Because the US market is much larger than the Chinese market, and losing the US market would be infinitely more serious than losing the Chinese market.
In any case, the Chinese market is closing in for finished products. In addition, the Chinese government indicates that it prefers to trade with the countries of the New Silk Road. Canada is not one of these routes.
Producers and businesses in Quebec and Canada must diversify their markets. Allied countries of the United States, such as India and most countries in Southeast Asia, could advantageously replace the Chinese market.
Likewise, Canada must resolve to minimize its trade with China, at least as long as Xi Jinping and his administration are in power.
The political turn of the United States vis-à-vis China is serious and lasting. A cold war between China and the United States seems inevitable.
Will Canada be able to cooperate with China on certain issues, such as the environment? Certainly. But he cannot cooperate excessively with an administration like Xi Jinping’s, which does not hesitate to use commercial blackmail to advance its fight against democracy and fundamental freedoms.