Taiwan's issues are Canada's issues: Visiting lawmaker – Focus Taiwan

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Taipei, April 12 (CNA) Canadian lawmaker John McKay told President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) Wednesday that “Taiwan’s issues are Canada’s issues and Canada’s issues are Taiwan’s issues,” during a meeting at the Presidential Office in Taipei.

McKay, chair of the Canadian parliament’s Committee on National Defense, said that lawmakers in the 10-strong delegation visiting Taiwan all held “significant positions in their parties and committees.”

“It is a testimony to the concern that Canada has for the ongoing viability of Taiwan that we are here,” McKay added.

McKay said that “interference and influence operations carried on by the government of China” had “heightened our awareness … and brought us together as democratic nations facing this menace.”

The Canadian delegation’s ongoing visit, which will conclude Saturday, has allowed them to observe how Taiwan has maintained and even strengthened its democracy and prosperity, McKay said.

The delegation has managed to achieve this despite “the massive effort on the part of the People’s Republic of China (PRC)” to prevent them from doing so, McKay said.

Lawmakers from all four of Canada’s major political parties are represented in the delegation, which also includes members of the Canadian parliament’s foreign affairs, national defense and Canada-PRC relations committees.

The visit comes less than two weeks after the Canada-PRC relations committee, chaired by delegation member Ken Hardie, published a report, titled “Canada and Taiwan: A Strong Relationship in Turbulent Times.”

The report, which Hardie gave a copy of to Tsai on Wednesday, included 18 recommendations on strengthening bilateral economic, trade, cultural and diplomatic ties, while adhering to Canada’s “one China” policy.

The report recommended that the federal government declare that the people of Taiwan are the sole arbitrators of Taiwan’s future and publicly call on Beijing to refrain from escalating military threats against the island.

Meanwhile, President Tsai called on the visiting Canadian parliamentarians to support Taiwan’s bid to join the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), a regional trade bloc of which Canada is a member.

“We hope that Canada will support Taiwan’s accession to the CPTPP. Taiwan has made all the necessary preparations. We meet high standard international trade rules and strive to create greater growth and prosperity together with our partners,” Tsai said.

In response, McKay acknowledged Taiwan’s desire to join CPTPP, saying “we hope that our presence here will push toward that right direction.”

The CPTPP, which grew out of the Trans-Pacific Partnership abandoned by the United States in January 2017, is one of the world’s biggest trade blocs, representing a market of 500 million people and accounting for 13.5 percent of global trade.

For a new member to join the CPTPP, all 11 signatories — Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, and Vietnam — must approve the application.

Taiwan applied on Sept. 22, 2021 to join the CPTPP, less than one week after China submitted its application.