Engaging China: Myth, Aspiration, and Strategy in Canadian Policy from Trudeau to Harper

By Paul Evans

© 2014

For more than four decades, engagement has been the bedrock of Canada’s policy toward China, as Ottawa has attempted to assist China’s entry into the international system and advance a commercial agenda. More than just high policy, engagement has also been a recurrent narrative that sees changing China as a moral enterprise as important as trade and diplomacy. 

As global China’s economic and diplomatic reach has expanded, policy makers in Ottawa have not fashioned an effective response. They are failing to produce a compelling strategy that addresses the power shift underway and growing public anxiety about China at home.

Engaging China is a concise account of the evolution and state of the Canadian approach to China, its achievements, disappointments, and current dilemmas. Written by Paul Evans, professor at the Institute of Asian Research at the University of British Columbia and former head of the Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada, the volume inaugurates the UTP Insights series – books that take on the issues crucial to understanding our world and Canada’s place within it.

Evans’s assessment of the evolution of Canada’s China policy speaks to the intellectual history of the idea of “engagement,” and assesses its internal contradictions and possibilities. He provides the elements of a comprehensive and strategic approach to China’s central role in the most important power shift in the global order since World War II.

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Product Details

  • Series: UTP Insights
  • Division: Scholarly Publishing
  • World Rights
  • Page Count: 144 pages
  • Dimensions: 6.0in x 0.5in x 9.0in
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SKU# SP003605

  • PUBLISHED MAR 2014

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    Regular Price: $21.95

    ISBN 9781442614482
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    ISBN 9781442646551
  • PUBLISHED MAR 2014

    From: $14.27

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Quick Overview

Engaging China is a concise account of the evolution and state of the Canadian approach to China, its achievements, disappointments, and current dilemmas.

Engaging China: Myth, Aspiration, and Strategy in Canadian Policy from Trudeau to Harper

By Paul Evans

© 2014

For more than four decades, engagement has been the bedrock of Canada’s policy toward China, as Ottawa has attempted to assist China’s entry into the international system and advance a commercial agenda. More than just high policy, engagement has also been a recurrent narrative that sees changing China as a moral enterprise as important as trade and diplomacy. 

As global China’s economic and diplomatic reach has expanded, policy makers in Ottawa have not fashioned an effective response. They are failing to produce a compelling strategy that addresses the power shift underway and growing public anxiety about China at home.

Engaging China is a concise account of the evolution and state of the Canadian approach to China, its achievements, disappointments, and current dilemmas. Written by Paul Evans, professor at the Institute of Asian Research at the University of British Columbia and former head of the Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada, the volume inaugurates the UTP Insights series – books that take on the issues crucial to understanding our world and Canada’s place within it.

Evans’s assessment of the evolution of Canada’s China policy speaks to the intellectual history of the idea of “engagement,” and assesses its internal contradictions and possibilities. He provides the elements of a comprehensive and strategic approach to China’s central role in the most important power shift in the global order since World War II.

Continue Reading Read Less

Product Details

  • Series: UTP Insights
  • Division: Scholarly Publishing
  • World Rights
  • Page Count: 144 pages
  • Dimensions: 6.0in x 0.5in x 9.0in
  • Reviews

    “This invaluable book provides an informed and expert analysis—clear, brief, and balanced—of the evolution over decades of Canada’s experiences with China, and recommends an approach that can make the most of our future relations with this inevitable, changing, and dominant power.


    The Right Honourable Joe Clark, P.C., C.C.

    “Paul Evans has given us an engaging and balanced assessment of Canada's approach to the rising economic superpower during governments past and present. For anyone who cares about the future of Canada's relations with the Middle Kingdom, it's a must read.”


    John Ibbitson, Chief Political Writer, The Globe and Mail

    “Written by Canada’s foremost student of China and the Asia-Pacific, Engaging China is an excellent survey of Canada’s past engagement with China, and a clear and coherent argument about what our future engagement should be.”
    Kim Richard Nossal, Director of the School of Policy Studies, Queen’s University
  • Author Information

    Paul Evans teaches contemporary Asian affairs at the University of British Columbia.

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