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Engaging China

Engaging China: Myth, Aspiration, and Strategy in Canadian Policy from Trudeau to Harper

Paul M. Evans
Series: UTP Insights
Copyright Date: 2014
Pages: 144
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  • Book Info
    Engaging China
    Book Description:

    Engaging Chinais a concise account of the evolution and state of the Canadian approach to China, its achievements, disappointments, and current dilemmas.

    eISBN: 978-1-4426-6602-3
    Subjects: Business, Economics

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-viii)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. ix-x)
  3. Preface
    (pp. xi-xvi)
  4. Acknowledgments
    (pp. xvii-2)
  5. chapter one The China Policy Problem
    (pp. 3-15)

    Until very recently China has never been a top-tier policy priority for Ottawa. Even so, China has held a central place in the international imagination of Canadians since well before they managed their own foreign policy or established an embassy in China in 1944. The epochal events of China’s opening to the West, its century of upheaval and revolution, Chinese immigration to Canada (and exclusion), Canadian missionaries in China, the Pacific War, the victory of the Communists, a hot war in Korea, a Cold War that followed, a cultural revolution, an era of “Open Door” and reform, and now China’s...

  6. chapter two Trudeau to Tiananmen
    (pp. 16-37)

    When the Trudeau government established diplomatic relations with the People’s Republic of China (PRC) in October 1970, it opened a new chapter and book in the high politics of Canada-China relations. Trudeau’s imprint was seminal. In laying out the objectives, rationale, and tone for a new approach to China and then shaping its style and diplomatic instruments, his government set in place the foundations for a thirty-five-year consensus.

    It is well known that Canada was one of the first out of the “engagement” gate and that many others, including the United States, soon moved in a similar direction. Less obvious...

  7. chapter three Strategic Partnership
    (pp. 38-59)

    Engagement had been popular and well understood, and conformed to broader public views about Canada’s role in the world. All three of its foundations were shaken, as was China, by the events in Tiananmen Square. Unlike protests in Cairo’s Tahrir Square a generation later, the demonstrations did not bring down a regime. But human rights took new prominence in the Canadian equation, not just around the individual cases of activists and dissidents but as focused on the broader social contract between the Chinese people and the Chinese Communist Party.

    Some portrayed this as the end of innocence or naivety about...

  8. chapter four Harper’s Turn
    (pp. 60-82)

    Stephen Harper’s Conservative minority government arrived in Ottawa in February 2006 committed to a new agenda for Canada and a “principled” foreign policy. The 171 words on foreign affairs in its election platform did not mention China, nor did the Conservatives include China on their list of Canada’s democratic and economic partners in Asia with whom free trade agreements should be negotiated. But their references to democracy promotion as a key priority and criticism of Liberal policies “that compromised democratic principles to appease dictators, sometimes for the sake of narrow business interests,” made clear that China and the China policy...

  9. chapter five Engagement Recalibrated
    (pp. 83-104)

    Canada’s China policy faces a complex set of choices that in scope, depth, and significance are second only to managing relations with the United States. Of frictions, abrasions, and opportunities, the issuesdu jour, there is no end. The relationship, however, needs to be judged in wider frame than the sum of its individual parts and the reactive management of individual pieces. Its long-term success depends on devising and articulating an overarching strategy that defines priorities and makes a compelling case why Canadians should support it.

    Engagement is potentially more valuable at the same time that it is becoming more...

  10. Notes
    (pp. 105-114)
  11. Index
    (pp. 115-122)