Conservatives move to back Taiwan as China expands influence in region

"This legislation clarifies Canada’s relationship with Taiwan with the objective of strengthening Canada-Taiwan relations."

Roberto Wakerell-Cruz Montreal QC

MP for St. Albert-Edmonton Michael Cooper introduced the Canada-Taiwan Relations Framework Act on Thursday, as China continues in its efforts to gain power and influence in the region.

The issue of Taiwan is an ongoing interest for Cooper, who once wrote for The Post Millennial that the Trudeau government's lack of interest in Taiwan "is almost certainly attributable to its preoccupation, at least until recently, with strengthening ties to the Chinese Communist regime. The Chinese Communists have returned the olive branch with hostage diplomacy, threatening the safety and well-being of the more than 300,000 Canadians in Hong Kong and imposing punitive trade measures."

The legislation aims to "provide a framework for strengthening economic, cultural, and legal relations between Canada and Taiwan and further directs the Canadian government to support Taiwan’s participation in international organizations," according to a press release.

"It is time that Canada adopted an approach to Taiwan that better reflects the current reality," wrote Cooper. "This legislation clarifies Canada’s relationship with Taiwan with the objective of strengthening Canada-Taiwan relations."

Taiwan is Canada’s thirteenth-largest trading partner and the fifth-largest in Asia. Canada enjoys strong people-to-people links with Taiwan, being home to the fourth-largest Canadian diaspora in the world, and shares common values with Taiwan as a leading democracy in the Indo-Pacific region.    

"This legislation ensures Canada will fully support Taiwan’s participation in international organizations and codifies Canada’s support for Taiwan’s participation in the World Health Organization and the International Civil Aviation Organization.

"It is in Canada’s economic and strategic interest to strengthen our relationship with Taiwan,” said Cooper. “This legislation recognizes the reality that Taiwan, a vibrant democracy and economic powerhouse of 23 million people, is here to stay. It’s long past due that Canada’s policy towards Taiwan caught up with that reality."


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