China and Canada: Neighbours in the Global Village – 6 Part Series

This event is offered in-person and livestream (check below for ticket options)
April 19, 26, May 3, 10, 17 and 24th


China is constantly in the news as an emerging global power, but many Canadians do not have a good understanding of the complexity of China’s history and its current situation.

Nevertheless, there is no shortage of widely diverging opinion about how Canada’s relationship with China should be managed considering the many recent human rights issues – Meng Wanzhou, the two Michael’s, the Uyghurs, Hong Kong, Taiwan. Third Age Barrie’s Spring Series focuses on ways to further communication and understanding as the bases for sustaining a positive relationship between Canada and this unimaginably immense and diverse nation.

This series will provide an overview of China and delve into aspects of Canada’s relationship with China.  Despite our differences, can we learn to live together respectfully on the global stage?

Tuesdays: April 19, 26, May 3, 10, 17, 24, 2022
1:30 – 3:30 pm
$60 for the 6-Part Series
Livestreamed into Your Home

April 19, 2022: China’s Rise As A Superpower – What This Means For Canada

Presenter: Dr. Diana Fu

diana fu

China is indisputably a global power today. How did China transform from a poor, developing country to a nation of “wolf warriors” on the world stage?  How are we to read the tea leaves of Chinese politics under Xi Jinping?  As Canada navigates one of the thorniest periods in its relationship with China, it is imperative to take a deep dive into China’s domestic politics.

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April 26: China: Myths and Realities

Presenter: Sarah Kutulakos, E.D and COO, Canada China Business Council

sarah kutulakos

China is a complex market that can be difficult to understand.  Sarah Kutulakos, Executive Director of the Canada China Business Council, has been working in and with China for over 30 years, and even she has to work hard to keep abreast of a changing China.  Join Sarah for an overview of some of the myths and realities of China today, and insight into Canada’s economic engagement with the Middle Kingdom.

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May 3: China, Leading Global Power by 2049?

Presenter: Dr. Olivier Courteaux, Historian


At the end of the 18th century, imperial China was the largest and wealthiest country in the world. But its power proved fragile. As early as the mid-19th century, China was unable to stop the repeated interventions of the West and Japan. Unable to modernize itself, the empire entered a period of decline which led to its demise and a long period of civil war, a civil war ultimately won by the Communists in 1949. Since then, Chinese leaders, from Mao to Xi Jinping have had one obsession: to make sure China would be in a position to regain its rightful place on the global stage, in their view, first place.

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May 10: The “New Silk Roads”: Strengths And Weaknesses Of A Global Project


In 2013, President Xi Jinping resuscitated the mythical silk roads, a titanic project welcomed by some 70 countries, but which prompted mistrust and paranoia. What is China’s ultimate goal? China’s “new silk road” faces much resistance from India, and for good reasons. Beijing’s grand project is threatening India with commercial, geostrategic and military encirclement. No wonder the government of New Delhi is bent on thwarting the Belt and Road Initiative at every turn.  But for how long? And what about Russia? How long will the “marriage of convenience” between China and Russia last? And what are we to make of the “Arctic silk road”? What does it mean for Canada?

Presenter: Dr. Olivier Courteaux

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May 17: What Is Really Going On In The South China Sea?

Presenter: Dr. David A. Welch, Professor, University of Waterloo

david welch

The South China Sea is generally recognized as one of the most important bodies of water in the world politically, strategically, and economically. If you read any newspaper article on the South China Sea nowadays, you will encounter stock phrases such as, “China claims virtually the entire South China Sea.” You will also encounter a narrative that insists that China is seeking to control it and is guilty of “aggression.” This is all nonsense. To really understand what is happening in the South China Sea, you need to pay close attention to international law, domestic and bureaucratic politics in China, and Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice.

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May 24: What Is China To Canada?

Presentor: Senator Yuen Pau Woo

Senator Woo is widely recognized as a leading thinker on international economic issues and Canada-Asia relations. He believes that it is more productive to have a dialogue with China than to lecture the Chinese on how they should govern themselves. Rather than take a position of moral superiority, he suggests that Canada should appeal to Chinese friends not to make the same morally wrong and societally damaging mistake of trying to repress and forcibly assimilate a minority group.

He describes China as a neighbour with a proud and ancient civilization, and that Canada should signal that we want China to succeed in its economic aspirations to become a fully developed economy by 2049.

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April 19, 2022 - May 24, 2022


6 Tuesday Afternoons
1:30 pm - 3:30 pm