In Jaishankar-Joly phone call, spotlight on Canada’s new Indo-Pacific strategy
Jaishankar’s phone conversation with his Canadian counterpart Melanie Joly came more than two weeks after Canada issued its comprehensive strategy for the Indo-Pacific that is aimed at promoting peace, resilience and security
NEW DELHI: External affairs minister S Jaishankar and his Canadian counterpart Melanie Joly discussed enhancing bilateral cooperation, especially in the context of Canada’s new strategy for the Indo-Pacific region.
The phone conversation came more than two weeks after Canada issued its comprehensive strategy for the Indo-Pacific that is aimed at promoting peace, resilience and security amid challenges arising from China’s aggressive behaviour across the region.
“Good to talk to Canadian FM @melaniejoly. Spoke about enhancing our bilateral cooperation and promoting people to people ties. Also exchanged views on the Indo-Pacific and how Canada’s new strategy can contribute to our relationship,” Jaishankar said in a tweet.
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Joly tweeted that she and Jaishankar discussed Canada’s “new Indo-Pacific Strategy and how we plan to work together to strengthen our people-to-people ties and advance our shared interests as India chairs the G20 next year”.
Ties between India and Canada have been hit by several irritants in recent years, including New Delhi’s concerns about the activities of pro-Khalistan activists on Canadian soil. Both sides are currently trying to return their relationship to an even keel.
Canada’s Indo-Pacific strategy lists India as a key player in the region. The strategy said Canada will focus on expanding economic engagement with India, including through deeper trade and investment ties and cooperation for building resilient supply chains.
“India’s strategic importance and leadership – both across the region and globally – will only increase as India, the world’s biggest democracy, becomes the most populous country in the world and continues to grow its economy,” the strategy document stated.
“Canada will seek new opportunities to partner and engage in dialogue in areas of common interest and values, including security, and the promotion of democracy, pluralism and human rights,” it added.
The strategy document also listed Canada’s concerns related to China’s aggressive and assertive behaviour in recent years, including its “coercive treatment of other countries”.
It said, “China has benefitted from the rules-based international order to grow and prosper, but it is now actively seeking to reinterpret these rules to gain greater advantage.”
The document added, “China’s assertive pursuit of its economic and security interests, advancement of unilateral claims, foreign interference and increasingly coercive treatment of other countries and economies have significant implications in the region, in Canada and around the world.”
The document further emphasised that respect for the sovereignty of other states is a cornerstone of the rules-based international order and of the ability of governments to work together to solve shared problems.