New Delhi: External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar on Monday spoke to his Canadian counterpart Melanie Joly with a focus on possible areas of cooperation between the two countries in the Indo-Pacific in the backdrop of growing global concern over China’s increasing military muscle-flexing in the region.
The telephonic conversation came over two weeks after Canada came out with a comprehensive strategy for the Indo-Pacific that aimed to promote peace, resilience and security while listing challenges emanating from China’s aggressive behaviour in 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 tweeted.
Canada’s Indo-Pacific strategy also listed India as a key player in the region and said Ottawa will focus on expanding economic engagement with New Delhi including through deeper trade and investment, as well as cooperating on 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 Canadian policy mentioned.
“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 said.
In a tweet, Joly said, “we discussed our 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.” Canada’s Indo-Pacific strategy also mentioned concerns over China’s growing assertive behaviour.
“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,” it said.
“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,” it noted.
The policy framework further said that respect for the sovereignty of other states is a cornerstone of the rules-based international order and of governments’ ability to work together to solve shared problems. (PTI)