November 16, 2020 – Ottawa – National Defence / Canadian Armed Forces
The Minister of National Defence, the Honourable Harjit S. Sajjan, delivered a keynote address during the 12th annual Conference on the South China Sea, hosted by the Diplomatic Academy of Vietnam.
Through the defence policy, Strong, Secure, Engaged, Canada acknowledges the importance of the Asia-Pacific region to Canadian security and prosperity. Minister Sajjan emphasized Canada’s commitment to being a strong partner and ally, and the important role the Canadian Armed Forces plays through its consistent engagement and strong partnerships in the region.
The Minister expressed Canada’s support for the important work of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) in fostering cooperation and mutual respect between nations, as well as strengthening regional security.
In line with the conference’s theme of maintaining peace and cooperation through a time of turbulence, Minister Sajjan also shared how Canada recognizes that today’s challenges demand an unprecedented level of international cooperation.
Discussions at the conference focused on how critical the world’s oceans and seaways are to our global economy. Approximately 90 percent of world trade travels by sea — with one-third travelling via the South China Sea. To ensure that our global commons remain free and safe, nations must continue to work together to uphold and defend the rules-based international order.