By Jiang Yaping
VANCOUVER, June 12 (Xinhua) -- Following Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi's words of expecting "a new golden age" between China and Canada, a Canadian scholar in Asian research echoed this remark and confirmed that it's indeed a good time to restart such an age.
"China is critical in the world and critical for Canada's future," said Yves Tiberghien, director of the Institute for Asian Research at the University of British Columbia.
In a recent interview with Xinhua, the professor reviewed the ups and downs that Canada and China have walked through and laid out some common agendas between them, expecting a new golden age ahead.
The golden age between the two nations actually started back in early 1970, when Prime Minister Trudeau's father pioneered in setting up the diplomatic relation with China while most Western countries were not ready, Tiberghien said.
At that time there were misunderstandings about China and political differences were regarded too serious to show any mutual trust, "but Prime Minister Trudeau set up the foundation in the name of a long-term investment," Tiberghien added.
Recalling a slowdown in the 2000s under the leadership of Canada's Conservative Party, he said that we now have a new platform where there is a vision on long-term development and where China and Canada can work on some common agendas.
One common agenda was Canada's new commitment to multilateralism, the professor said, noting China's engagement in G20 and other multilateral agreements on global level, for example the Paris agreement.
China and Canada both have a very strong commonality of interest to do more work together on global issues, ranging from environmental protection and economic growth, he said.
The other common agenda lies in the potential of deepening the economic relationships, Tiberghien said.
Canada needs to invest more to activate new engines of growth and there's also a lot of resources to be exploited, where China can play a role, especially in a sustainable way of cooperation, so that Canada's growth is also complimentary to the needs of China, he said.
"So there is a set of complementarities and opportunities... and so it' s indeed a good time."
However, Prof. Tiberghien also admitted some obstacles, referring to about nine years of differences between the two countries. "So the challenge is to find a way to go around those difficulties and to focus on the common agenda where there is common interest and when it's congruent with values on both sides," he added.