Canada and the South China Sea Disputes: Challenges for Re-Engagement in East Asia

Author: James Manicom

in Canada-Asia Agenda   (8 pages)

Abstract:

The South China Sea is a recurrent flashpoint in East Asia that has recently threatened to destabilize East Asia. China and the Philippines are currently engaged in a standoff at Scarborough Shoal in the latest round of tensions between claimant states. As the Canadian government shifts its focus towards Asia, the South China Sea disputes present a number of challenges to Canada's re-engagement with the region.

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I now see why China feels able to demand a place on the Arctic Council. Canada has far more pressing priorities than getting tangled up in a US-China staring match. If the 158 Canadians killed - and the many others maimed or otherwise scarred - in Afghanistan due to Ottawa's need to offer a blood sacrifice to Washington have not made this point, then clearly Canadians will have to shout louder and closer at those who believe the country's best interests are served by following the southern neighbour's preference for brawn over brain. I now see why China feels able to demand a place on the Arctic Council. Canada has far more pressing priorities than getting tangled up in a US-China staring match. If the 158 Canadians killed - and the many others maimed or otherwise scarred - in Afghanistan due to Ottawa's need to offer a blood sacrifice to Washington have n...more