Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


Political Science


Kim Richard Nossal




This thesis seeks to investigate the Sino-Canadian relationship in terms of shifts in policy and within the context of sovereignty. Canada's China policy since 1949 has been distinguished by three distinct: phases: "no China", "one China" and "greater China" strategies. The thesis reviews the reasons attributed to the Canadian government's adoption of each of the three approaches. Furthermore, this thesis outlines the characteristics of Canada's "no China", "one China" and "greater China" policies. The conceptualization of sovereignty outlined in the works of Jean Bodin and Thomas Hobbes provides a framework in which the evolution of Sino-Canadian relations may be analyzed. Negative and positive sovereignty present the different attributes of sovereIgn power. In terms of the exercise of sovereignty, the notions of final and ultimate recourse are useful in interpreting the Chinese perception of sovereign authority. It is only when a foreign state, such as Canada, intrudes upon the Chinese government's ultimate authority that a genuine intrusion upon Chinese sovereignty occurs. Conversely, the use of final sovereignty by Hong Kong, Taiwan and the Chinese provinces does not represent legitimate possession of power but merely the exercise of it; the sovereignty of the Chinese state remains paramount. This thesis outlines the characteristics and usage of both final and ultimate sovereign authority.

McMaster University Library

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