Canada-China Relations in the Age of Great Power Competition: An Assessment of Canadian Foreign Policy Decision Making and Strategic Outlook

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  • Canada has, so far, awkwardly navigated the current U.S.-China geopolitical competition undertaking an ambiguous position, often labeled as inaction in policy circles, that has rendered any foreign policy decisions difficult to assess from a strategic perspective. Despite bilateral frictions that saw Sino-Canadian relations brought to their lowest point since the establishment of diplomatic relations, the Canadian government has yet to embark on any odyssey that would see it in strategic opposition to China regardless of the path its closest ally and current hegemon, the United States, has set for itself. The Canadian government has, in fact, adopted a hedging approach to the U.S.-China rivalry. Canadian foreign policy decision making, despite being in contradiction to traditional international theories that would see it balance with Washington, is consistent with Canada's policy of engagement towards China which emphasizes the need to work constructively with Beijing and the irrationality of containment for Canadian interests.

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  • Copyright © 2022 the author(s). Theses may be used for non-commercial research, educational, or related academic purposes only. Such uses include personal study, research, scholarship, and teaching. Theses may only be shared by linking to Carleton University Institutional Repository and no part may be used without proper attribution to the author. No part may be used for commercial purposes directly or indirectly via a for-profit platform; no adaptation or derivative works are permitted without consent from the copyright owner.
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  • 2022


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