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A Canadian delegation presented the president with a report that urged Ottawa to say that Taiwanese are the sole arbiters of the nation’s future
Staff writer, with CNA
“Taiwan’s issues are Canada’s issues and Canada’s issues are Taiwan’s issues,” Canadian lawmaker John McKay told President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) yesterday during a meeting at the Presidential Office in Taipei.
McKay, chair of the Canadian parliament’s Committee on National Defense, said that the lawmakers in the delegation he is leading in Taiwan all hold “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,” he said. “Interference and influence operations carried on by the government of China” have “heightened our awareness … and brought us together as democratic nations facing this menace.”
The delegation’s visit, which is to conclude on Saturday, has allowed them to observe how Taiwan has strengthened its democracy and prosperity, McKay said.
The delegation has achieved this despite “the massive effort on the part of the People’s Republic of China [PRC]” to prevent its members from doing so, he said.
Lawmakers from all four of Canada’s major political parties are part of the delegation, which also includes members of the Canadian parliament’s foreign affairs, national defense and Canada-China relations committees.
The visit comes less than two weeks after the Canada-China 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 yesterday, included 18 recommendations to bolster bilateral economic, trade, cultural and diplomatic ties, while adhering to Canada’s “one China” policy.
The report said that the Canadian federal government should declare that the people of Taiwan are the sole arbiters of Taiwan’s future and call on Beijing to refrain from escalating military threats.
Meanwhile, Tsai called on the visiting lawmakers 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,” Tsai said. “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.”
McKay acknowledged Taiwan’s desire to join the 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 US 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, less than one week after China submitted its own application.
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