Canada Defense Minister Anand: ‘China’s behavior is concerning’

Canada’s defense minister said China’s behavior in a number of areas is “concerning,” with regards to rising geopolitical tensions.

“We have to stand back and examine China’s behavior writ large: concerning behavior in diplomatic relations, concerning behavior in terms of theft of intellectual property, concerning behavior in cyberspace as well as in actual airspace,” said Anita Anand in an interview Saturday with Bloomberg News’ Haslinda Amin at the sidelines of the IISS Shangri-La Dialogue in Singapore. “These are all very worrisome and concerning behaviors.”

The comments come after recent reports of Chinese fighter jets buzzing Canadian planes helping to enforce sanctions on North Korea, an act Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau called “irresponsible and provocative.” Relations between Canada and China have also deteriorated over issues including Canada’s banning of Huawei Technologies Co. from fifth-generation wireless networks.

Anand did not directly respond to questions about whether Canada would defend Taiwan if it came under attack from China, saying instead her country remains committed to a “one-China policy” and is concerned about the level of Chinese military activity in the region. She also said continuing to build relationships with Taiwan is important.

Questioned whether Western unity toward responding to Russia’s war in Ukraine is fraying, Anand said that the North American nation remained “deeply committed” to Ukraine’s sovereignty.

“Canada stands shoulder to shoulder with Ukraine in the short, medium and long term,” she said.

Image credits: Bloomberg photo

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