Indo-Pacific strategy launch boosts military spending and visa processing in region

Boost to military spending

The Liberals have unveiled their long-awaited Indo-Pacific strategy, which announces more military spending and closer ties with countries such as India.

The strategy unveiled in Vancouver earmarks $2.3 billion for Canada to form closer ties with countries that span Pakistan to Japan, including some funding that the Liberals have announced in recent weeks.

The new announcements include nearly a half-billion dollars to deploy more naval frigates to areas like the South China Sea and undertake military training with countries like Indonesia, Malaysia and the Philippines.

Canada will also increase its visa-processing capacity to improve a system plagued by delays that has experts fearing that talented youth in the region will move elsewhere.

That's on top of recently announced plans to further close trade ties with southeast Asian countries as a counterweight to China's influence, including by financing infrastructure projects in developing countries.

Ottawa will also send 200 experts to advise countries that want to work with Canada on everything from governance to oceans management.

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