Canadian International Council

Canadian International Council

February 23, 2011 11:57 ET

Canada Can Help Stabilize US-China Space Engagement, New CIC Paper Argues

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Feb. 23, 2011) - For the United States, military space capabilities are integral to terrestrial needs, and sustaining the US position in space has become a key military concern. China in particular has markedly advanced its military space prowess in recent years, and US-Chinese space activities have emerged as a focal point of their broader relationship. The Canadian government has a longstanding interest in the future of space security, and Canada has historically been active on preventing the deployment of weapons in space. Facilitating US-China space engagement addresses core Canadian interests, and Canada should play an active and contributory role in translating current convergence into lasting accord, concludes a new paper released today by the Canadian International Council (CIC).

"However the Canada-China bilateral relationship evolves in coming years, the US-China relationship is more than ever a central feature in the Canadian conception of its own dealings with China. As the interactions between the United States and China intensify and increasingly draw the attentions of policymakers on both sides, Canadian policymakers are likely to be increasingly concerned that Canada's own interests will be impacted," says Wade L. Huntley, author of Canada-China Space Engagement: Opportunities and Prospects.

Dr. Huntley argues that for both political and security reasons, China continues to embrace proposals for formal treaty-based restraints on space-based armaments that are met with deep resistance in the US. Canada's experience, policy record and credibility in this area enable Canada to play an active and contributory role.

Dr. Huntley's key recommendations for the Canadian government include:

  1. Supporting broader development of bilateral technology/trade safeguard agreements by Canada and/or the US with emerging space powers like China, India and Brazil;

  2. Focusing on joint utilization of information generated from existing space-based systems rather than on the joint development of new systems;

  3. Identifying collaborations and leveraging comparative advantages, such as combining Canada's experience in deep space exploration and China's launching capabilities;

  4. Facilitating the development of personal relationships in specific sectors to support positive directions in the US-China relationship.

Dr. Wade L. Huntley is Senior Lecturer in the National Security Affairs department at the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, California. Canada-China Space Engagement: Opportunities and Prospects is part of the CIC's China Paper series.

For more information Canada-China Space Engagement: Opportunities and Prospects or the CIC, please visit:

The Canadian International Council (CIC) is an independent, member-based council established to strengthen Canada's role in international affairs. The CIC reflects the ideas and interests of a broad constituency of Canadians who believe that a country's foreign policy is not an esoteric concern of experts but directly affects the lives and prosperity of its citizens. The CIC uses its deep historical roots, its cross-country network and its active research program to advance debate on international issues across academic disciplines, policy areas and economic sectors. The CIC's research program is managed by the national office in Toronto. Its 15 branches across Canada offer CIC members speakers' programs, study groups, conferences and seminars.

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