Foreign aid to the United States, Canada and other developed countries could be on the wane as China seeks to expand its influence and take advantage of its economic and military clout, according to a new study from CSULB’s International Affairs Research Centre.
The report warns that Canadian foreign aid could lose some of its potency as China increasingly relies on its economic leverage and the strength of its military to maintain its hold on the region.
The CSULb study, which was published in the journal Trends in International Political Economy, was released just as China announced a new economic strategy that will increase its influence in the Pacific and boost its military capabilities.
China will be looking to develop a military that can defeat its rivals, including the United Kingdom and the United State, and expand its presence in the South China Sea, according the CSULer.
China has been developing its own military capabilities over the past year, including its new long-range missile system, which is capable of hitting targets in the United Arab Emirates and Taiwan.
But CSUL’s report warns the Chinese military could become more aggressive in the future as Beijing seeks to bolster its position in the region by expanding its influence.
In the past, China has relied on economic and technological advances to maintain influence in its region, the CSU report said.
China’s economic strength and technological superiority have allowed it to take advantage by developing a strong military and economic system, including an air force that can conduct air and space operations in the face of a number of regional rivals.
But this strategy will likely shift as China’s military strength is likely to be diminished as a result of its economy slowing down, the report said, adding that it is unclear whether the military will be able to maintain this military advantage over its rivals.
“China’s growing economic and political power will require greater support to the military and will not be able simply to rely on military aid and trade,” the report added.
“Instead, the military must develop a more powerful military, which will also require greater military assistance from the international community.”
Foreign aid to Canada, the United Nations and other developing countries has been increasing since the 1980s, with aid from countries such as the United European Community and European Union totaling more than $1.5 billion in the last three years.
The United States and Canada provided a combined $2.6 billion in foreign aid in 2016.
“The current political climate will see the end of Canadian foreign assistance as we know it,” said Jennifer DeMoura, a CSULber.
“The international community must not be forced to choose between supporting Canada’s defence and its economic interests.
Canada must take a lead in the fight against climate change and climate change-related threats.”
The CSU study says the United Nation’s climate change funding is now at $1 billion a year, up from $700 million in 2017.
The World Bank, meanwhile, reported in May that its foreign aid budget for 2016 was $6.4 billion.
Canada is also receiving $1 million a month from the United Centre for International Development (UCD) to help it develop sustainable energy projects.
Canada’s foreign policy has also been evolving in recent years.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, who is also the country’s first female prime minister, has made international climate change a key focus.
He has pledged to phase out the use of coal by 2030 and has been a vocal proponent of climate action.
The Liberals have also taken a more diplomatic stance toward China, which has a reputation for stifling free speech in the developed world.
Trudeau has said he will not back China’s human rights abuses and that China’s policies are undermining Canada’s economic interests in the West.
The Trudeau government has also come under fire from the Liberal opposition for its handling of the North American Free Trade Agreement.
It is expected to be revisited by the Trudeau government in 2018.