Wednesday, May 22, 2024

Beijing is trying to improve relations with Ottawa

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Beijing is trying to improve relations with Ottawa

Beijing is seeking to improve relations with Ottawa after years of diplomatic tensions. While it’s unclear whether Canada is ready to respond, some experts say there are some pragmatic reasons for improved cooperation.

Kong Piu, the Chinese ambassador to Canada, said in a recent interview, “To be honest, we don’t want to see the tension between our two countries.” We can engage in constructive dialogue with openness.

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This year is already marked as a year of high-level negotiations. Secretary of State Melanie Jolie had a lengthy conversation with Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi last January. A meeting was then held between the two in Germany in February. They only had a brief conversation in 2023.

Both the meetings outlined their demands for improved relations. This includes proper recognition or taking responsibility for Canada’s diplomatic tensions. Kong said it is not China’s fault.

Beijing also sought mutual respect at the same time. These include non-recognition of an independent Taiwan and mutually beneficial cooperation. This means imposing as few trade and science restrictions as possible.

Jeremy Paltiel, an expert on Canada-China relations and a professor at Carleton University, said the relationship between the two countries is already at a low point. The Chinese say, you are not giving anything. So why should we cooperate? If you only criticize, we are not interested.

If both agree to mutually beneficial cooperation, there may be a consensus on the export of small quantities of natural gas. Both countries can highlight such initiatives.

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