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Canada-China Relations in Crisis: Challenges & Solutions?

June 12, 2019 at 8:00 AM to 1:45 PM

Location:University of Ottawa
Faculty of Social Sciences Building
1 University Private, room FSS 4007

Key Contact:Jeremy Paltiel

This workshop brings together scholars from the University of Ottawa, Carleton University and the UBC Institute of Asian Research.

The detention of Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou by Canadian authorities at the request of the United States in December 2018, with the subsequent retaliatory arrest of two Canadians by China, have triggered an unprecedented diplomatic crisis between Canada and China. Relations between our two countries are at an impasse, with no clear resolution in sight. At the same time, Canada looks on while a tariff fight between the United States and China that threatens the future of the multilateral trading system appears to deepen. Embedded in this trade war is a technology competition where the US is determined to preserve its lead against a Chinese industrial strategy judged to be predatory. In this connection, Canada faces on-going pressure from the Trump administration and some other “Five-eye” partners to ban Huawei’s SG network in Canada.

While public debates are intensifying on how to engage China in general and how to deal with Huawei in particular, the federal government has not articulated a clear, strategic policy towards China. No decision on the future involvement of Huawei in SG network development in Canada has yet been announced and the government’s efforts to enlist international allies to help secure the release of the imprisoned Canadians has not had an noticeable effect.

This one-day conference is an effort at public and private engagement efforts by a large group of Canada’s leading China experts and institutions to raise awareness of what is at stake for Canada and to try to think through the important public policy challenges presented by the current state of Canada­ China relations.

Key questions addressed in the conference include:

  • The rise of China: its global economic and high tech ambitions? What should the Canadian response be?
  • The dynamics of the current bilateral diplomatic crisis and likely solutions- What is to be done?
  • Canadian public perceptions and discourse on What factors need to be considered in our understanding of China today?
  • How can tensions raised by the arrest of Meng Wanzhou be best addressed and resolved? 
  • The fate of Huawei and Canada’s next generation 5G communications network? How do we arrive at the right decision?

Program and Agenda

8:00 – 8:30 am

Registration and coffee

8:30 am

Opening & Welcome

8:45 -10:00 am

Panel One: Political Context of Canada China Relations

Jeremy Paltiel: How Canada was Outtrumped by Chimerica

Paul Evans: Realism vs. idealism in Canada’s engagement with China

Wenran Jiang – Adjusting to disillusion: the current crisis in Chinese eyes

10:00 -11:15am

Panel Two: Canada and China in the Global Political Economy

Yves Tiberghien – Facing a US revolt against the global order and an assertive China: Canada’s options

Greg Chin- China as a global financial actor and Canada’s future as a G7/G20 country

Pascale Massot -What China means to Canada in the emergent 21st Century political economy

Martin Geiger – Canada & China. Keeping openness and fostering cooperation on talent mobility and innovation

11:15-11:30 am

Networking Break

11:30 am -12:30 pm

Panel Three: Investment Challenges: Understanding the 5G Cybersecurity Concerns from a Security, Technical and Commercial Perspective

Wesley Wark -disentangling a networked reality: trade, investment technology and security in a 5G Canada

Amy Karam – developing a “co-opetition” strategy to leverage Canada’s advantages and scaling Issues in 5G investment

12:30 – 1:45

Lunchtime Keynote

Bernie Michael Frolic: The Current Crisis in Context – 50 years of Sino-Canadian relations – three crises

Participant Bios

Dr. Gregory T. Chin is Associate Professor of Political Economy at York University, Canada. Principal research interests are in international and comparative political economy with focus on China’s international finance, Asian regionalism, the BRICS, and global governance. Currently finishing a book manuscript on Renminbi internationalization. He codirects the Emerging Global Governance (EGG) project at The Johns Hopkins University SAIS as Senior Fellow of the Foreign Policy Institute (FPI). From 2000 to 2006, he served in Canada’s Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade, and the Canadian International Development Agency. At the Canadian Embassy in Beijing he was First Secretary Development 2004-6 with responsibility for North Korea (2004-06).

Dr. Paul Evans professor at the University of British Columbia since 1999 teaching Asian and trans-Pacific affairs. Paul is the Director Emeritus of the Institute of Asian Research. Between 2005 and 2008 he served as the Co-CEO and Chairman of the Executive Committee of the Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada. Author or editor of eight books, most recently Engaging China: Myth, Aspiration and Strategy in Canadian Policy from Trudeau to Harper.

Dr.Bernie Michael Frolic is Professor Emeritus, Politics, York University, and Affiliated Professor, Munk School, University of Toronto. He first visited China in 1965. First Secretary Canadian Embassy Beijing in the 1970s. Taught at Peking University (Beida) and Beijing University of Foreign Studies (Beiwai). Visiting Professor Harvard University. Author of Mao’s People (Harvard University); Co-author/editor (with Paul Evans), Reluctant Adversaries: Canada and the PRC, 1949-1970 (University of Toronto); co-author/editor (with Tim Brook), Civil Society in China (M.E. Sharpe) Director of York Asian Business/Management Programme (ABMP) that since 2000 trained 5000 PRC Party and government officials, business executives, and educators in Canada and China. Just finishing book on 50 years of Canada-China relations.

Martin Geiger is an Associate Professor in the Department of Political Science and the Institute of European, Russian and Eurasian Studies at Carleton University. He currently researches high-skilled migration and its link to innovation, with a focus on Canada, the U.S., Germany, China and other leading economies.

Dr. Wenran Jiang is adjunct professor at the School of Public Policy and Global Affairs, University of British Columbia, Global Fellow at the Woodrow Wilson International Centre for Scholars in Washington DC, and Special Advisor on China to the US and Canada based Energy Council. He is also the President of Canada-China Energy and Environment Forum Dr. Jiang has researched, written and taught on the rise of China and its implications to the world order, with a special focus on China’s foreign investment, energy security and environmental issues.

Amy Karam, is the author of THE CHINA FACTOR: Leveraging Emerging Business Strategies to Compete, Grow and Win in the New Global Economy,a global competitive strategy consultant, Executive in Residence on China, Trade and Innovation at the Sprott School of Business, a Fellow at the Canadian Global Affairs Institute,TEDxspeaker, and an instructor at Duke University.She is also the Founder of the Global Business and Innovation Academy, where she equips companies and governments, with insights and strategies to successfully navigate the new international trade dynamics given a new genre of competition.

Pascale Massot is an assistant professor in the School of Political Studies and a member of the coordinating committee of the International Political Economy Research Network at the University of Ottawa. From December 2015 to July 2017 she was on leave from the university, serving as Senior Policy Advisor to the Minister of International Trade of Canada and Policy Advisor to the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Canada.

Jeremy Paltiel is Professor of political science at Carleton University in Ottawa, Canada. He is author of The Empire’s New Clothes: Cultural Particularism and Universality in China’s Rise to Global Status (Palgrave, 2007) Last year he published “Facing China: Canada Between Fear and Hope” International Journal (September 2018) He has contributed numerous other articles on Chinese politics, human rights and the Chinese tradition, civil-military relations in China, East Asian foreign relations and Sino-Canadian relations.

Yves Tiberghien (Ph.D. Stanford University, 2002 and Harvard Academy Scholar 2006) is a Professor of Political Science, Director Emeritus of the Institute of Asian Research, Co-Director of the Center for Japanese Research, and Executive Director of the China Council at the University of British Columbia (UBC). He is also Distinguished Fellow at the Asia-Pacific Foundation of Canada, visiting professor at Tokyo University, and visiting Professor at Sciences Po Paris. Yves is the founding chair of the Vision 20 think tank coalition. His research focuses on the comparative political economy of China, Japan, and Korea and on the transformation of the global economic order in the context of the rise of China. He is currently finishing a book titled Up for Grabs: Disruption, Competition, and the Remaking of the Global Economic Order.

Wesley Wark is a Visiting Professor with the Graduate School of Public and International Affairs at the University of Ottawa. His areas of expertise involve intelligence and national security issues as they apply to Canada and the globe.