UBC-led ‘white paper’ to outline ways forward for Canada, China
Two leading analysts of relations between Canada and China are set to unveil a new “white paper” at a UBC forum this month in hopes of sparking a new era of engagement between the two countries.
The policy document will be delivered at a Nov. 12 conference at the university between academics from both countries. The white paper was co-authored by UBC professor and former Asia Pacific Foundation CEO Paul Evans and Wendy Dobson, a director of the Institute of International Business at the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management.
Evans said the paper has been in the works for 16 months and is intended to be “non-partisan and forward-looking.”
“The paper outlines a series of specific measures for the next government of Canada in the areas of business and commerce, security and diplomacy in a context of increasing Chinese influence and growing public anxiety in Canada about what this means,” Evans said.
UBC Institute of Asian Research director Yves Tiberghien is a key organizer of the event. Tiberghien said the timing of the annual conference, as well as the release of the policy paper, is appropriate, given a change of government in Ottawa may signal a new approach to its relationship with China. 2015 is also the 45th year of official relations between Canada and the People’s Republic of China.
Tiberghien said although the conference is not on a governmental level, the discussion would reach policy-makers on both sides. Sensitive issues such as human rights will also be broached in smaller meetings.
“We have our values, but we also want to work together within our values,” Tiberghien said. “There’s no need to hide the differences. We are fully aware of it. But we can still work together in a warm way, and with eyes wide open. … We are also aware that China, along with the United States, will be one of the two major players in the world. We’d want to do everything that’s possible to make sure they are part of the global system.”