CALGARY, Aug. 26, 2014 /CNW/ - Canada may be a Pacific nation, but one would hardly know it, given its history of merely sporadic and inconsistent engagement with the Indo-Pacific region. This, according to a report released today by the School of Public Policy.
The idea of a proud legacy of special relations with Asian nations is clearly overblown, argues author Patrick James. This is a cause for concern. With the spectacular economic rise, and growing influence, of certain Asian nations, Canada's pattern of Indo-Pacific neglect is proving increasingly unaffordable. Canada may not have squandered any significant legacy from the past, but it might easily squander the potential for crucial relations in the future.
Somewhat ironically, Canada's inattentiveness towards the Indo-Pacific region may actually provide increased flexibility and advantage in the new era of rising Asian power. Put simply, save for a few examples, there is a distinct lack of baggage between Canada and the Indo-Pacific nations, leaving something close to a clean start for future relations. It is, however, critical that Canada not allow that past irresponsible practice to persist. Notions of some "grand strategy" for the Indo-Pacific region may be misguided. But given the ascendant role of Indo-Pacific nations in the 21st century, it would be even more unwise for Canada to maintain its longstanding pattern of indifference toward the region.
The paper can be found at www.policyschool.ca, then click on 'Publications'.
SOURCE: The School of Public Policy - University of Calgary
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