The newly-appointed U.S. ambassador to Canada, David Cohen, stated in an interview with The Globe and Mail that one of his goals was to work with the Canadian government against China on every aspect from cybersecurity to human rights issues.
Cohen told the news outlet on December 9th, “The fact is that China is very much aligned in an anti-democratic fashion and an authoritarian fashion.”
The new ambassador said that the Biden administration was seeking Canada’s cooperation in countering Beijing’s expanding military, political and economic ambitions.
Cohen added: “It is important as Canada articulates its China policy, as the United States refines its China policy, that we do so in alignment with each other.”
He praised the Trudeau government’s work on a new China policy, which was reported to be part of a larger Indo-Pacific strategy.
According to Cohen, Washington is concerned about China’s dominance of critical rare-earth minerals and acquiring key Canadian sectors that could assist Beijing’s military and national security apparatus. Therefore, the two countries have signed a memo of understanding in an attempt to reduce their dependence on China’s rare-earth minerals.
Washington’s other major concern is the potential threat of Chinese cyber activities wreaking havoc on Western financial markets.
Ottawa is taking a tougher stance toward Beijing after a half-century of the worst rupture in relations between the two countries, especially after the Chinese Communist Party arbitrarily detained two Canadians for more than 1,000 days and imposed trade restrictions on Canadian exports.
Along with the Canadian Indo-Pacific strategy being crafted, the government ordered a Chinese state-owned telecom China Mobile in August to cease operating in Canada over national security concerns.