Is a new player entering the Game of Thrones? Perhaps taking a cue from the Obama administration’s strategic shift away from Europe and towards Asia, Canada is now mulling over an Asian “pivot” of its own.Although many Canadians are still unsure about the merits of a more active policy in Asia, there are signs that the Harper government is looking at ways to boost Canada’s presence across the Pacific. As Hugh Stephens writes in The Diplomat:
With its move to gain access to the Trans-Pacific Partnership negotiations, its more intensive outreach to ASEAN—including a recent announcement of the opening of Canada’s first embassy in Burma—and its courting of Chinese and other Asian nations’ interest in Canada’s oil and gas assets, the Harper government has firmly set in place the foundations of a long-term Asia strategy for Canada.
This shift may come as a surprise to many who see Canada as somewhat aloof in world affairs, but it makes a good deal of strategic sense. Canada’s interests in Asia are largely the same as America’s, and a peaceful, liberal zone open to trade and investment suits our northern neighbors as well as our own interests. And as a country with a large Pacific coastline and deepening trade links with China, Canada will find Asia increasingly important to its well-being.The Game of Thrones continues.