UBC-led ‘white pa­per’ to out­line ways for­ward for Canada, China

Vancouver Sun - - WESTCOAST NEWS - CHUCK CHI­ANG chchi­ang@van­cou­ver­sun.com

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.”

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