Just What Is Justin Up To? – On India Canada Relations

Source– The post is based on the article “Just What Is Justin Up To?” published in “The Indian Express” on 14th September 2023.

Syllabus: GS2- Bilateral groupings and agreements

Relevance- India and Canada bilateral relationship

News– Canadian PM Justin Trudeau got a cold response from India at recently concluded G20 summit in India

What are the reasons behind increasing distrust between India and Canada?

First, Trudeau has displayed a consistent disregard displayed by  towards Indian interests. The G20 summit primarily revolve around trade. Trade necessitates at least a basic understanding of the needs and desires of the other party. However, there was an absence of common ground between the two sides.

Second, Trudeau has dismissed the khalistan issue as merely a matter of ‘freedom of expression‘. He overlooks the fact that India views it as a threat to its territorial integrity.

For example, in a recent incidents in Canada, Khalistan supporters displayed scenes depicting the assassination of India’s former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi. It crossed the boundaries of freedom of expression.

Third, another significant issue pertains to India’s relationship with China in comparison to its relationship with Canada. There is a close relationship between the current federal government of Canada and the Chinese Communist Party’s government.

Before the G20 summit, the Canadian government independently halted trade negotiations with India. This decision was not communicated to India’s High Commissioner to Canada. Such opacity in policymaking creates suspicions.

How do Trudeau’s personal inclinations impact the foreign policy of Canada?

Trudeau has a history of downplaying the trade potential with other countries. It may be due to ideological reasons or other motives.

During his initial visit to China early in his tenure, he returned without significant achievements because he primarily focused on issues like gender equality.

In August 2022, the German Chancellor visited Canada seeking natural gas supplies due to the Ukraine conflict. Trudeau sent him back without a deal. He cited the absence of a “business case” for exporting the abundant Canadian natural gas to Germany.

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