China’s unsettling leverage over America

China's economic, social, political and military growth mean the superpower dynamics are shifting dramatically

China’s unsettling leverage over AmericaDoes China control enough U.S. debt to influence American foreign policy? During the Second World War, U.S. President Franklin Roosevelt told British Prime Minister Winston Churchill to get out of the colonialism business. By leveraging Britain’s war debt to the U.S., Roosevelt influenced English foreign policy, opening new markets for the U.S. and for globalization.…

China offers a lesson on financing infrastructure

China built 20,000 km of high-speed rail infrastructure without raising taxes or becoming indebted to international bond markets

China offers a lesson on financing infrastructureAs members of a developed western economy, Canadians think we know all about capitalism. And, obviously, we believe our way of doing things is the best – we have nothing to learn from countries like China. Or do we? How did a country with an emerging economy like China build 20,000 km of high-speed rail infrastructure without raising…

China’s One Belt, One Road strategy threat to Canadian trade

China likely to focus more on Asia and the Indian Ocean basin for its commodity needs and less on North America

China’s One Belt, One Road strategy threat to Canadian tradeGeography has always mattered. Technology can shape how nations interact economically and politically. Railroads can traverse vast deserts and mountains, ships can cross great oceans. Planes can do both. But geographic reality remains the same: mountains are still tall, oceans still broad. In January, a train loaded with containers pulled into London. The train originated…

China ready to test Trump’s resolve

Beijing has a long history of provoking incoming U.S. administrations to see how they will respond to aggressive Chinese actions

China ready to test Trump’s resolveSeveral recent events underscore China’s growing military strength in East Asia and how it might respond to the Trump administration’s plans to “reset” U.S.-China relations. On Dec. 14, satellite reconnaissance revealed that China had installed anti-aircraft guns on all seven of the artificial islands it has created in the South China Sea. That same day,…

Philippines’ president makes a provocative pivot toward China

Dramatic announcement of a shift in foreign policy may be China's first step in its ambition to restore its historic hegemonic role in southeast Asia

Philippines’ president makes a provocative pivot toward ChinaAddressing a group of 200 Philippine and Chinese businessmen at the Great Hall of the People on Oct. 20, Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte dramatically announced that, "America had lost" and that "China had won." He also announced the "separation" of the Philippines from the United States. At the meeting, which was also attended by Chinese…

Why Canada should avoid free trade with the great dragon

Expanding our trade relationship with China is unlikely to give us any significant economic, environmental or human rights leverage

Why Canada should avoid free trade with the great dragonPrime Minister Justin Trudeau’s trip to China prompted speculation that it was the first step towards a free-trade agreement. The basic principle of free trade is clear. Imagine two isolated neighbouring islands. One is green and fertile, capable of producing more food than it can consume. The other, while dry and barren, possesses natural resources…

Canola conundrum puts Canada in China’s crosshairs

As Canadian farmers prepare to harvest a bumper crop, our chief trading partner raises new concerns about its quality

Canola conundrum puts Canada in China’s crosshairsA very Canadian crop is at the heart of a crucial trade dispute. Although most thought Canada’s relations with China would get easier with a new regime in Ottawa, things are becoming complicated again. Some Canadian farmers are edgy and for good reasons. China is threatening to buy canola elsewhere if Canada is unwilling to…

Resetting Canada-China relations

Canada should take steps to build a sustainable trading relationship with China, predicated on advancing the well-being of Canadians

Resetting Canada-China relationsWhat's a self-respecting Canadian prime minister to do with China, a vital partner that's dominating world trade and becoming dangerously belligerent? We will find out soon. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has arrived in China in preparation for the G20 summit in Hangzhou, where he will meet with other world leaders and business elites. China's rise to superpower status…

Turmoil in the South China Sea

China’s ambitions in the South China Sea will have far-reaching international implications well into the future

Turmoil in the South China SeaThe Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague has unanimously ruled that China does not have any historic title to a huge expanse of the South China Sea, which it had claimed. The July 12 decision came in response to a case filed by the Philippines in 2013, under the United Nations Convention on the…

China’s serving up a dilemma for Canadian agriculture

Canada's meat industry will suffer if China's move to lower consumption is successful

China’s serving up a dilemma for Canadian agricultureChina consumes 28 per cent of the globe's meat, including half of its pork. But changes could be coming that will have a dramatic impact on Canada's agriculture industry. Years ago, the average Chinese consumer ate about 13 kg; now the average is 63 kg per person and could increase by another 30 kg by…