By Limin Zhou
The Liberal government’s Indo-Pacific strategy that is long overdue will be released this year, according to Foreign Affairs Minister Mélanie Joly.
“I’ll be coming up with our Indo-Pacific and China policy before the end of the year,” said Joly, who was visiting Washington D.C. Friday, during her interview with the Atlantic Council think tank.
“We haven’t defined ourselves as an Indo-Pacific country since the beginning of our history. We’ve always invested a lot in the transatlantic relationship,” said Joly, when asked if she considers Communist China the biggest threat.
“We need to turn west.”
Joly said Canada is closely following as the Chinese Communist Party is gearing up for a very important meeting starting October 16. She was referring to CCP’s rubber-stamp weeklong National Congress that occurs every five years.
“We know that we are dealing with a very much assertive China and Xi Jingping, and we know that we have to recognize the importance of international rules,” she said.
“That said we will continue to work with China on climate changes.”
Prior to the interview, Joly met with the Secretary of State Anthony Blinken.
In the media availability afterwards, Joly said the bilateral meeting discussed “effort to strengthen international peace and security, including through deepened engagement in the Indo-Pacific.”
“We share a vision of a free, open, and inclusive Indo-Pacific region. We both believe in strengthening our diplomatic and economic ties with the region and the resiliency of our global supply chains.”
She will head to Japan and South Korea in mid-October.
Canada has historically always been engaged in the “Asia-Pacific” relationship, which refers to East Asia, with Communist China at the center.
The “Indo-Pacific” concept introduced by Japan broadened the world’s view of Asia, and shifted the center away from the Communist China to countries like India and its neighbouring countries. The United States, Australia, and India embraced the “Indo-Pacific” strategy.
The “Indo-Pacific” concept is also described as a region “that values freedom, the rule of law, and the market economy, free from force or coercion” by former Japanese Prime Minister Sinzo Abe.
According to the Globe and Mail, Many of Canada’s major allies, have already formulated their own Indo-Pacific strategies.