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Regional Connectivity Building in Southeast Asia

April 5, 2022 @ 8:00 pm – 9:30 pm ET

This event is part of the Canada, ASEAN and the Indo-Pacific speaker series.

This panel brings together three eminent commentators offering a Southeast Asian perspective on regional connectivity, smaller state external policy and elite legitimation. It highlights why the region matters in relation to Chinese foreign policy and Asian security. It also touches on the geopolitics of Southeast Asia’s quest for infrastructure and investment, China’s Belt and Road Initiative, economic, political and security implications of regional connectivity and engagement with partners outside ASEAN.

Cheng-Chwee Kuik (National University of Malaysia) will address the geopolitics of regional connectivity building in Southeast Asia. He will cover: why connectivity cooperation is not only about big-power pushes, but also small-state pulls; how the connectivity-building process is reflective of the features of the “multiplex world”; and to what extent host-country agency is a function of internal resilience and external alternatives.

Lynette Ong (University of Toronto) will provide a political economy analysis of infrastructure development in authoritarian contexts, with a focus on how elite contestation and mass resentment surrounding China-backed projects played out in Malaysia’s historic 2018 election.

Amitav Acharya (American University, formerly of York University) will draw on his long-standing work on regionalism in Southeast Asia. He will discuss the political and security implications of regional connectivity projects with particular focus on their impact on ASEAN.

The webinar will be moderated by Julia Bentley, York Centre for Asian Research.

Co-presented by Canada-ASEAN Initiatives, YCAR, York University; Asian Institute, Munk School of Global Affairs and Public Policy, University of Toronto; and Centre for Asia-Pacific Initiatives, University of Victoria.

For more information, please visit or contact:

This event is part of the Canada, ASEAN and the Indo-Pacific speaker series.

Click HERE to watch the recording.

This event is presented by the Centre for Asian Studies, Institute of Malaysian and International Studies at the National University of Malaysia (UKM) and the Canada-ASEAN Initiatives, York Centre for Asian Research at York University.

Panel Speakers:
Sufian Jusoh, National University of Malaysia
Juita Mohamad, IDEAS
Paul Evans, University of British Columbia

Chair: Julia Bentley, York Centre for Asian Research

For more information, please visit or contact:

The panel discusses the contents of the book: “The Black Race by Ho Chi Minh and Selected Works on Systemic Racism,” compiled by Dai Trang Nguyen and edited by Luis Silva. The publication is a collection of 20 essays that were written in the 1920s and 1960s by the Vietnamese revolutionary leader that trace the roots of institutional racism within the United States to the European enslavement of Africans through colonial imperialism. His essays delved into such topics as lynching, the Ku Klux Klan, Jim Crow and racial injustice, and the panel will examine how his past work is still relevant today within the social context of the Black Lives Matter movement.

Register for the talk here:

Panel Speakers:

Joe Pateman, University of Nottingham, Nottingham, England, United Kingdom
Under Imperialism, “Black Lives Don’t Matter”

Luis Silva (editor), Centennial College, Toronto, Ontario
Ho Chi Minh’s Captivating True Stories: Decoding Literary References of “The Black Race”

Dai Trang Nguyen (author), York University, Toronto, Ontario
Ho Chi Minh and America: More Connections Than We Thought

For more information, please visit or contact:

Canada and ASEAN:
Trade Diversification in the Indo-Pacific

November 26, 2021
Ontario Investment and Trade Centre

This seminar focuses on the need for Canada, and Ontario in particular, to diversify trade with Southeast Asian countries, many of whom have growing middle-class populations and a shared interest in ensuring free trade flows in the Indo-Pacific region.

For more information, please visit:

This event is part of the Canada, ASEAN and the Indo-Pacific speaker series.

Event Recording

Virtual Discussion on Canada’s 44th Parliament and Asia Policy

October 29, 2021
9:00 – 10:30 am ET

In collaboration with the Vietnam-Canada Friendship Association,
Vietnam Union of Friendship Organizations (VUFO)

For more information, please click here.

Photo by Jason Hafso on Unsplash

Webinar Recording

Opening remarks by The Honourable Victor Oh, Senator

Presentation by Sophia Leong, Canada-ASEAN Initiatives
Watch recording here. Download PDF here.

Presentation by The Honourable Bryon Wilfert, Former Member of Parliament. Watch recording here. Download PDF here.

Download PDF of presentation by Dr. Binh Lai, Diplomatic Academy of Vietnam here.

Speakers include:

  1. The Honourable Victor Oh, Senator, Senate of Canada | Opening Remarks
  2. The Honourable Bryon Wilfert, Former Member of Parliament, Canada | Presentation: Canada’s 44th Election: Back to Square One
  3. Sophia Leong, Advisory Board Member, Canada-ASEAN Initiatives | Why Vietnam Matters to Canada
  4. Dr. Binh Lai, Deputy Director-General of the East Sea Institute, Diplomatic Academy of Vietnam | Canada and the South China Sea from a Vietnamese Perspective
  5. Luis Silva, Former School Trustee, Toronto | Canada’s Diaspora Policy and the Vietnamese Canadian Community
  6. Dr. Pham Quang Minh, Vice-President, Vietnam-Canada Friendship Association | Concluding Remarks

Canada-ASEAN Connect:
Bringing Together Government, Business and Education Sectors

July 29, 2021
3:00 – 4:00 pm ET

This webinar features speakers and guests from the government, education, and business sectors. Participants will gain a fuller picture of the Canada-ASEAN relationship in business and education, and learn more about ASEAN opportunities and how to promote stronger relations in the future. 

For more information, please click here.

Webinar Recording


Trade Commissioner Service contact:, Toronto Regional Office
Canada-ASEAN Business Council website:


Centre for Southeast Asia Research, University of British Columbia webpage:
Centre for Southeast Asian Studies, University of Toronto webpage:
Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada website:
Trade Facilitation Office website: