The Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada was pleased to participate in the Canada-China Relationship Forum on January 12, 2021, a ‘Track II’ dialogue with high-level representatives from Canada and China.
Co-hosted with the China Institute at the University of Alberta and Beijing-based Charhar Institute, a non-governmental and non-partisan think-tank focusing on foreign policy and international relations, the Chatham House Rule discussion was frank and informative.
Given the significance of the continuing tensions in Canada-China diplomatic relations, the Forum provided a useful platform for high-level discussion and dialogue on relevant political and economic issues, among them: Canada-China political, diplomatic, and economic relations; global power relations; multilateralism; technology standards and partnerships; public health/post-pandemic co-operation; environmental issues; and, the unique role and contribution of Chinese-Canadians to the development of bilateral relations.
APF Canada President and CEO Stewart Beck and Charhar Institute Secretary General Li Qiangmin provided opening remarks and were joined in conversation by China Institute Interim Director Jia Wang and Director Emeritus Gordon Houlden, along with representatives of Charhar, APF Canada, and the Foundation’s Distinguished Fellows network.
While Canada and China have a long history of diplomatic, people-to-people, and business ties, negative political and consular developments in the past two years have damaged the relationship, which is now at a historic low. It is APF Canada’s position that dialogue and debate are crucial, and we look forward to similar events in the future where both sides can discuss further avenues to collaboration and engagement.