Thursday, June 22, 2023 | 4:00 PM EDT - 4:30 PM EDT
Zoom Interview | Diana Fu, Gordon Houlden, Pascale Massot
Canada’s role in the context of U.S.-China strategic competition is significant, given its historical relationships with both countries. While Canada normalized relations with China in 1970 and sought to strengthen the Canada-China relationship over the decades, its recent Indo-Pacific Strategy takes a much firmer stance than seen in the past, referring to China as a “disruptive power” that disregards international rules; nevertheless, Canada also recognizes that China will have to play an essential role in solving global challenges.
When it comes to relations with and approaches to China, where do American and Canadian strategic interests and priorities overlap? Where do the United States and Canada see things differently? What are the main factors driving these dynamics?
In an interview conducted June 22, 2023, Diana Fu, Gordon Houlden, and Pascale Massot discuss Canada-China relations and areas where the U.S. and Canadian Indo-Pacific Strategies converge and diverge.
Gordon Houlden is director emeritus of the China Institute and adjunct professor at the Alberta School of Business at the University of Alberta. Professor Houlden joined the Canadian Foreign Service in 1976, serving in Ottawa and abroad, where he worked on Chinese economic, trade and political affairs. He also served at the Canadian Embassies in Havana and Warsaw, and at the Canada National Defense College. His last assignment before joining the University of Alberta in 2008 was as director general of the East Asian Bureau of the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade, responsible for Greater China, Japan, the Koreas, and Mongolia.
Under Professor Houlden’s leadership, the China Institute focused on contemporary China studies, with an emphasis on Canada’s trade, investment and bilateral relations with the PRC, and Asian security issues. His third co-edited book, Security, Strategy, and Military Dynamics in the South China Sea: Cross-National Perspectives, was published in the summer of 2021 (Bristol University Press).
Pascale Massot is an assistant professor at the University of Ottawa’s School of Political Studies. In 2022, she was a member of the Canadian Minister of Foreign Affairs’ Indo-Pacific Advisory Committee, which advised the Minister on Canada’s recently published Indo-Pacific Strategy. She also served as the senior advisor for China and Asia in the office of various Canadian Cabinet ministers, including the Minister of Foreign Affairs and the Minister of International Trade, between 2015 and 2021.
Professor Massot’s research focuses on the global political economy of China’s rise, China’s impact on global commodity markets, Canada-China and Canada-Asia relations, as well as Canadian public opinion of China. She was the 2014-2015 Cadieux-Léger Fellow at Global Affairs Canada and a visiting Ph.D. candidate at Peking University’s Center for International Political Economy. She has a Ph.D. in political science and an M.A. in Asia Pacific policy studies from the University of British Columbia, and a B.A. in East Asian studies and economics from the University of Montreal.
Diana Fu is associate professor at The University of Toronto in the Munk School of Global Affairs and Public Policy and Political Science. She is a non-resident fellow at the Brookings Institution, a China fellow at the Wilson Center, and a National Committee on U.S.-China Relations Public Intellectuals Program fellow. Her research examines civil society, popular contention, state control, and authoritarian citizenship in China. She is the author of Mobilizing Without the Masses: Control and Contention in China. Dr. Fu’s commentary has appeared on BBC, Bloomberg TV, CBC, CNN, NPR, and in Foreign Affairs, US News & World Report, and The New York Times, among others. She was guest host of the TVO documentary series “China Here and Now” and of POLITICO’s China Watcher.
Professor Fu received her doctorate in politics from Oxford University, where she was a Rhodes Scholar, and currently serves as national co-secretary of the Rhodes Scholarship for China.