On October 11, the Macdonald-Laurier Institute co-hosted a high-level panel discussion, in cooperation with the Embassy of the Philippines, to discuss Canada’s concerns in the South China Sea region, as well as the constructive role it can play in enhancing regional security.
Following opening remarks by Vice Minister Theresa P. Lazaro of the Foreign Affairs Department of the Philippines, our panel, moderated by Jonathan Berkshire Miller, senior fellow and Director of Foreign Affairs, National Defence and National Security at MLI, discussed the role Canada can play in the South China Sea Region.
Panel members Randolph Mank, former ambassador and President at Mank Global; Kerry Lynn S. Nankivell, Director of Strategic Assessments at the Department of National Defence; and Trevor Kennedy, Vice President of Trade and International Policy at the Business Council of Canada, discussed the significance of the South China Sea’s geopolitical, legal, and economic landscapes – according to the panel, regional challenges make the case for Canada’s active diplomatic presence in ensuring a free, open, and rule-based South China Sea
The panel also discussed Canada’s potential as a regional actor that can provide food security as well as expertise in helping to preserve the South China Sea marine environment.
Following a round of questions from the audience, the panel members concluded the discussion by stressing that Canada cannot remain idle and must take a proactive role in the region, building ties to secure its commercial and geopolitical interests.