China’s rise is having a direct impact on our prosperity, our health and well-being, and our security here in Canada. The road to achieving many of our middle-power aspirations now runs through the Middle Kingdom.
We need to start paying closer attention, says former ambassador David Mulroney. China has become our second largest economic partner, not as important as the US is, but far bigger than all the rest. Canada exerts a magnetic pull on Chinese tourists and students. It’s also a popular destination for Chinese home buyers in search of a new life or simply looking for a safe place to park money. An assertive China is challenging the balance of power in the Pacific, and it is more than willing to reach across borders, including Canada’s, to steal technologies and to confront challenges to its ideology.
We must do better. David Mulroney is uniquely positioned to discuss this issue as the former ambassador to China, and as a leader in forming a successful strategy in Afghanistan. He discusses what our challenges in Afghanistan were and how we eventually got it right, and how these lessons can be applied to the future challenges of China, and beyond.
Cutting right to the heart of the issue, Middle Power, Middle Kingdom is an intimate account of how foreign policy works, and how policies must be changed if Canada is to prosper.
Despite China's emerging power, spectacular growth, and increasing sphere of influence in East Asia and in the world, few people understand modern China and many Westerners fear closer ties with China. Mulroney, the Canadian ambassador to China from 2009 to 2012, provides a personal understanding and deep knowledge of this complex nation based on his long history of diplomatic work in the region. His observations about his relationships with Chinese officials are both candid and informative. He advocates for more ties with a formidable China as an economic necessity driven by the benefits of trade; opportunities for new prosperity as Chinese citizens travel, study, and invest abroad; and efforts to stem the spread of disease, pollution, and China's influence in Asia. He argues that a closer relationship with China must come with monitoring of Chinese behaviour on issues of human rights, democratic, and religious freedom. His analysis and positions on security in the Pacific, co-ordination and purpose in relations with China, increasing competence in Chinese relations, and encouraging a national dialogue about China all make this book recommended reading for anyone interested in the China phenomenon.