September 26, 2013 - 12:00 am
We are long beyond a debate about engaging China. The fact is that China is engaging us across a wide spectrum of interests. China’s economic impact on Canada is significant and growing. We also need to be aware of its profound influence on global health, food safety and the environment, and should think carefully about how this affects us, and what we should do about it. China is a leading source of new citizens, students, tourists and investment dollars. How well are we preparing young Canadians for a future in which China becomes steadily more important to us?
While China bristles at what it perceives to be interference in its internal affairs, it appears to be increasingly assertive in its neighbourhood, and in ours.
China represents the emerging challenge for Canadian foreign policy. How do we work out a future relationship with China that is respectful, taking account of China’s remarkable achievements, while remaining true to our own deeply held values in areas like human rights? How do we maximize the people-to-people and economic benefits that come with closer relations while mitigating the inevitable risks that come with this?