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Bringing China In: The New Democratic Party, China, and Multilateralism, 1949-68 *

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This article explores the history of Canadian foreign relations with China via the perspective of F. Andrew Brewin, a longtime New Democratic Party (NDP) politician. Brewin was an ardent champion of multilateralism in the 1960s and this approach was reflected in his views on China. These thoughts are most eloquently expressed in the debates in the House of Commons on the recognition and the admission of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) into the United Nations between 1963 and 1970. The NDP was the first political party to recommend the recognition of the PRC and by the 1960s public opinion had warmed sufficiently to the idea. Brewin’s concerns over the general silence on the part of Lester B. Pearson’s Liberal government on this issue reflected his wider concerns about the degree to which Canadian foreign policy was tied to the United States and nuclear proliferation. For Brewin, ending the PRC’s isolation was vital to achieving peace in his time.

Affiliations: 1: University of Western Ontario, Email:


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