The level of what Ottawa needs from its allies in the face of China’s recent aggressions, is similar to when the U.K. and more than two dozen of its allies (including Canada) together expelled more than 150 Russian diplomats. This took place after a former Russian spy and his daughter were murdered on British soil in 2018.
But the reason Ottawa hasn’t been able to secure stronger support from Washington is that it lacks credibility when it comes to taking action against Beijing, with Washington seeing Canada as being reluctant to take a stand against China the way the United States has, Crowley says.
“There’s a credibility issue here. If Canada goes to the United States and says let’s work to create an international coalition [in response to China], the Americans—quite properly—might say Canada talks a good game, but all you do is talk,” Crowley said.
While the United States has risked a trade war to get China to behave, Canada still hasn’t booted Chinese telecom giant Huawei from its 5G network, and it has allowed Chinese companies to take over sensitive high-tech Canadian firms despite public outcries from U.S. politicians. Canada has also not been fully meeting its commitment to NATO.