MSC Conference Program & Themes

In response to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, and governmental restrictions and recommendations on travel and public gatherings, The Navy League of Canada, with the support of the Royal Canadian Navy and the Daniel K. Inouye Asia-Pacific Center for Security Studies, has adjusted the format of the upcoming Maritime Security Challenges (MSC) conference so that it will take place online with a series of virtual presentations to ensure a continuous opportunity for connection, engagement, and knowledge-sharing.

In the meantime, a new venture MSC Virtual Sessions will enable a continuous opportunity for connection, engagement and knowledge sharing across the maritime arena.  Videos of the first of these will be two presentations can be accessed through the indicated links below.  The next presentation will take place on Wednesday 2 December:

MSC Virtual Session 3: Wednesday, 2 December, 16h00 (4:00 pm) Pacific Standard Time

“COVID-19 and the Pacific Navies” – Dr. Collin Koh, Research Fellow, Institute of Defence and Strategic Studies, S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies at Nanyang Technological University, Singapore

“COVID-19 and the civilian maritime sector” Dr. Salvatore R. Mercogliano, Associate Professor of History, Campbell University

REGISTER for MSC Virtual Session 3

*Please note that response to your registration will not be immediate as all registrations are subject to review.


MSC Virtual Session 1

Moderator: Dr. James Boutilier, Special Advisor (ret.), N39 – International Engagement, Maritime Forces Pacific Headquarters, Royal Canadian Navy

“China’s Vision for World Order and its Belt and Road Initiative” – Ms. Nadège Rolland, Senior Fellow for Political and Security Affairs, National Bureau of Asian Research

While Chinese leaders since Deng Xiaoping worked hard to bring China into the modern area, arguably none has been more active in reshaping the regional and global orders to suit China’s interests than Xi Jinping. One of the key components of Xi’s campaign is the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), an umbrella of infrastructure and trade projects which stretches from Asia to Europe and seeks to extend Chinese influence along the way. Ms. Nadège Rolland, a Senior Fellow for Political and Security Affairs at the National Bureau of Asian Research, and long-time China expert, will discuss China’s ambitions and the role BRI plays in achieving Xi’s “China Dream”, and what this might mean for Asia and the world.

Video of MSC Virtual Presentation 1


MSC Virtual Session 2

Moderator: Commodore Angus Topshee, Commander Canadian Fleet Pacific, Royal Canadian Navy

“An Update on the South China Sea” – Mr. Greg Poling, Senior Fellow for Southeast Asia and Director, Asia Maritime Transparency Initiative, Center for Strategic and International Studies

The South China Sea is arguably the most important maritime region for the modern world. It is the crossroads for resources and goods flowing between Africa, Europe, and North American to Asia, is itself home to important offshore resources such as seafood and energy, and is at the centre for legal and geopolitical disputes between both littoral countries and those with interests in the region. Mr. Greg Poling, Senior Fellow for Southeast Asia and Director of the Asia Maritime Transparency Initiative at the Center for Security and International Studies think tank, is one of the foremost South China Sea experts in the US – if not the world – and he will speak on the latest developments in this critical region, and the likely future of the South China Sea.

Video of MSC Virtual Presentation 2


MSC22, the next in-person MSC meeting, will take place in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada, on 22-24 March 2022.  The MSC Virtual Sessions will keep our maritime community engaged and informed with a regular series of topical virtual presentations related to Great Power competition in the Indo-Asia-Pacific.