In the public eye at least, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has appeared to be left largely on his own as he goes toe to toe with India, one of the world’s fastest-growing economies, with a population 35 times bigger than Canada’s, the media reported.
In the days since Trudeau made the explosive announcement, his allies in the Five Eyes intelligence alliance provided seemingly boilerplate public statements, all stopping far short of full-throated support, the BBC reported.
UK Foreign Secretary James Cleverly said his country took “very seriously the things that Canada are saying”. Using nearly identical language, Australia said it was “deeply concerned” by the accusations.
But perhaps the most deafening silence came from Canada’s southern neighbour, the US. The two countries are close allies, but the US did not speak up with outrage on Canada’s behalf.
When US President Joe Biden publicly raised India this week, while speaking at the UN, it was not to condemn but to praise the country for helping to establish a new economic pathway.
Biden’s National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan later denied that there was a “wedge” between the US and its neighbour, saying Canada was being closely consulted.
But other public statements were tepid, more nods to “deep concern”, coupled with affirmations of India’s growing importance to the Western world, the BBC reported.
The problem for Canada, experts said is that its interests currently pale in comparison to India’s massive strategic importance, the BBC reported.
“The US, the UK, and all these Western and Indo-Pacific allies have built a strategy that largely focuses on India, to be a bulwark and counterweight to China. That’s something they can’t afford to toss out the window,” said Xavier Delgado, a researcher at the Wilson Center’s Canada Institute, BBC reported.