This article explores the history of Canadian foreign relations with China via the perspective of F. Andrew Brewin, a longtime New Democratic Party (NDP) politician. Brewin was an ardent champion of multilateralism in the 1960s and this approach was reflected in his views on China. These thoughts are most eloquently expressed in the debates in the House of Commons on the recognition and the admission of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) into the United Nations between 1963 and 1970. The NDP was the first political party to recommend the recognition of the PRC and by the 1960s public opinion had warmed sufficiently to the idea. Brewin’s concerns over the general silence on the part of Lester B. Pearson’s Liberal government on this issue reflected his wider concerns about the degree to which Canadian foreign policy was tied to the United States and nuclear proliferation. For Brewin, ending the PRC’s isolation was vital to achieving peace in his time.
Paul Evans“Harper in China,”Toronto Star11 December 2009. On the process of China’s increasing “soft power” over Canada and Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s visit to the People’s Republic of China (PRC) see Sonny Shiu-Ling Lo “The Politics of Soft Power in Sino-Canadian Relations: Stephen Harper’s Visit to China and the Neglected Hong Kong Factor” in Huhua Cao and Vivienne Poy eds. The China Challenge: Sino-Canadian Relations in the 21stCentury (Ottawa: University of Ottawa Press 2011).
Press Release 25 January1951file 7-34 vol. 7 MG32 C26 LAC; House of Commons 24 November 1966 Debates (Ottawa: Canadian Government Publishing 1966) 10287-88. Brewin’s intolerance for hypocrisy was relayed to the author in an interview with his daughter Martha Hynna and her husband George Hynna conducted on 21 November 2011 in Ottawa Ontario. The lack of inclusion of the Republic of China (Taiwan) from the United Nations remains an issue of concern for many early in the 21st Century and certainly the principle of universality appears to apply in this case as a submission to the United Nations noted in 2001. See Letter from the representatives of Belize Burkina Faso Chad Dominica El Salvador the Gambia Nicaragua Palau Senegal and Tuvalu to the Secretary General of the United Nations 8 August 2001 http://www.un.org/documents/ga/docs/56/a56193.pdf (acc. 10 Jan. 2012).
House of Commons 24 November1966Debates (Ottawa: Canadian Government Publishing 1966) 10286-90.
House of Commons 24 November1966Debates (Ottawa: Canadian Government Publishing 1966) 10286-87.
John W. Lewis and Litai XueChina Builds the Bomb (Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press1988) chapter 1.
House of Commons 24 November1966Debates (Ottawa: Canadian Government Publishing 1966) 10286-87; untitled notes n.d. file 80-1 vol. 80 MG32 C26 LAC.
Press Release 30 April1962World Federalists of Canada; Memorandum “A Long-Term Foreign Policy for Canada” April 1964 World Federalists of Canada esp. Addendum 2: “Canadian Policy Regarding the Peoples’ Republic of China” file 70-20 vol. 70 MG32 C26 LAC.
Press Release 6 August1975Office of the Minister of Manpower and Immigration file 25-17 vol. 25 MG32 C26 LAC.
Jasper BeckerHungry Ghosts: Mao’s Secret Famine (New York: The Free Press1997) conclusion. Dutch historian Frank Dikötter has written new book that also chronicles the horrors of the Great Leap Forward. Mao’s Great Famine: The History of China’s Most Devastating Catastrophe 1958-1962 (New York: Walter & Company 2010).