Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau travelled to Japan earlier this week for a bilateral meeting with his counterpart Shinzo Abe ahead of the G7 summit.
The main issue in Trudeau’s meeting with Abe Tuesday was the reaffirmation of both countries’ agreement on an anti-Chinese position in the conflicts in the South and East China seas. They also discussed improving trade relations, a major part of which is the implementation of the US-led Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement. The TPP is the economic arm of Washington’s anti-China “pivot” to Asia, which is aimed at economically and militarily isolating and encircling Beijing.
At a joint press conference with Trudeau after their meeting, Abe stated, “As for the South China Sea, we share serious concerns over unilateral actions that raise tensions, such as large-scale reclamation, the building of facilities and militarization.” He went on to declare that it was “significant” the two countries had “agreed to cooperate to secure rule-based, free, safe seas.”
There could be no mistaking the fact that Abe’s statements were explicitly aimed at China, which has been the target of a series of US-led provocations over recent months challenging its territorial claims in the South China Sea. Washington has flown nuclear-capable bombers through the region, making clear that it is fully prepared to wage war against China to defend its dominance in the Asia-Pacific.
Canada is fully integrated into this US strategy, which has included support for Japan’s remilitarization. In 2013, the Conservative government signed a secret cooperation agreement with the US military for operations in the Asia-Pacific region. Canada is pushing for advanced bases to be established in South Korea and Singapore, which could be activated in a crisis.