Canada launches new Indo-Pacific strategy, focus on ‘disruptive’ China

OTTAWA, Nov 27 (Reuters) – Canada launched a much-anticipated Indo-Pacific strategy on Sunday, pledging to tackle China’s “distractions” as it works with the world’s second-largest economy on climate change and trade issues.

The 26-page document outlined C$2.6 billion ($1.9 billion) in investment, including strengthening Canada’s military presence and cyber security in the region and strengthening foreign investment rules to protect intellectual property and prevent Chinese state-owned enterprises from taking over key assets. salty.

Its aim is to develop relations with a rapidly growing region of 40 countries that account for approximately C$50 trillion in economic activity. But the focus is on China, which is mentioned more than 50 times, at a time when the relations between the two countries are frozen.

“China is disrupting the whole world,” the channel said. “China is looking to make the international system a place that tolerates interests and values ​​that are very different from ours.”

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Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s Liberal government wants to disrupt trade and economic relations that are heavily dependent on the United States. Official data for September show trade between China and China was less than 7% of the total, compared to 68% for the United States.

The strategy also highlighted “Beijing’s interference” and coercion of other countries.

“Our strategy … is made up of an honest and transparent assessment of today’s China. In the most controversial areas, we will challenge China,” he said.

Tensions escalated in late 2018 after Canadian police arrested the head of Huawei Technologies and Beijing arrested two Canadians on espionage charges. All three were released last year, but the relationship remains strained.

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Earlier this month Canada ordered three Chinese companies to withdraw their investments from key Canadian mines, citing national security concerns.

The document, in the section on China, says Ottawa will review and amend laws that would help it “take swift action when state-owned enterprises and other foreign entities threaten our national security, including our vital supply chain.”

The document identified important opportunities for Canadian exporters and said cooperation with Beijing is necessary to address “the world’s current challenges,” including climate change, global health and nuclear proliferation.

Goldy Hyder, CEO of the Business Council of Canada, said it is important for the government to change “desires and actions to make them possible.”

The document said Canada would expand its military presence in the region and “increase our military and intelligence capabilities as a means of reducing coercion and threats to regional security.”

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Canada is among the seven major developed nations, which want to take action in response to North Korea’s missile launch.

The document said Ottawa is involved in the region with partners such as the United States and the European Union.

Canada should continue to talk to countries with significant conflicts, it said, but did not name them.

($1 = 1.3377 Canadian dollars)

David Ljunggren reports; Edited by Denny Thomas, Leslie Adler and Daniel Wallis

Our Standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

David Ljunggren

Thomson Reuters

It covers political, economic, and Canadian news as well as leading North American news, formerly based in London and Moscow and the winner of Reuters’ Treasury scoop of the year.

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