Amid Chinese aggression, ‘Taiwan’s fight is Canada’s fight,’ MPs vow – National

A delegation of Canadian politicians met with Taiwan’s president in Taipei on Wednesday to discuss Beijing’s military aggression and allegations of foreign interference.

“Even when we got here, there were 160 fighter jets flying overhead and naval exercises,” said Liberal Party lawmaker John Mackay, referring to China’s military operations around Taiwan this week. I mentioned exercises.

“Our message to them is that the battle for Taiwan is the battle for Canada,” he said.

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Canada’s 10 MPs included representatives from the Liberal Party, Conservative Party, NDP and Bloc Quebec. They wore pins with the flags of Taiwan and Canada on their collars and were greeted with a warm smile and handshake by President Tsai Ing-wen.

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“Canada is a very important democratic partner.

“In the face of continued authoritarian expansionism, it is even more important that democracies actively unite.”

A delegation of Canadian parliamentarians poses with Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen in Taipei on April 12, 2023.

Shant Kel-Khajarian / Global News

Canadian lawmakers have issued a hard copy of a report passed unanimously last month by the House of Representatives’ Special Committee on Canada-China Relations, which called for closer ties with Taiwan and an end to China’s military aggression. presented to.

Previous visits to Taiwan by Canadian politicians, like last year, have largely focused on issues such as trade. The conversation on this trip, however, had a tougher tone.

Harry Hogen Tseng, the representative of Taiwan to Canada who traveled with the delegation, said the relationship between Taipei and Ottawa was being rebuilt by an increasingly bold and brazen Beijing.

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“Over the past few years, Canada-Taiwan relations have been very comprehensive, but at this particular point, security issues and national defense seem to be above all else,” Tseng told Global News in Taipei. told to

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Canadian delegation visits Taiwan as China wraps up military exercises

The Canadian delegation’s security concerns center around the Chinese government’s allegations of foreign interference in Canada’s elections. During her week-long visit to Taiwan’s capital funded by Taipei, a Canadian lawmaker toured the offices of an NGO called Doublethink Lab. Chinese government propaganda targeting Taiwan.

“Taiwan is like the epicenter of China’s disinformation,” says Aimen Lau, a Canadian research analyst who works for an NGO in Taipei.

“I think it is very impressive to come here to Taiwan and see how seriously Taiwanese civil society is taking this issue.”

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Click to play video: 'Prime Minister Trudeau calls China's military exercises around Taiwan a 'problem''

Trudeau says China’s military exercises around Taiwan are ‘problematic’

Conservative foreign policy analyst and delegation member Michael Chong said Canada could learn from Taiwan’s experience.

“Taiwan has long been subject to foreign interference from Beijing,” he said. “There are many lessons we can learn about how the Taiwanese government has built the resilience of its people, citizens and society to this foreign interference.”

Polls consistently show that the majority of Taiwanese citizens want democracy to remain and separate from China. But these high-profile meetings with democratic world leaders have proven to be occasionally polarizing here.

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After Tsai met with senior U.S. officials, including House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, last week, Beijing launched three days of military exercises around Taiwan involving dozens of fighter planes and ships.

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Some Taiwanese feel that the diplomatic photo shoot does not deserve Beijing’s wrath.

“This issue is causing division in Taiwan because some people think it is too provocative to China,” said James Yifang Cheng, an associate professor of foreign affairs and international relations at Tamkang University in Taipei. Told.

“Most of the time we want the so-called status quo.”

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Taiwan president calls China military exercises ‘irresponsible’, planes, ships stay home

Chan An-Lo, the head of Taiwan’s pro-China Reunification Party and a convicted former gangster leader, said the Canadian delegation should return home.

“Before they can talk about these things, they have to look after their own business and solve their own problems. They have to reflect on themselves,” he said, referring to the Canadian government’s pointed out abuse.

“Maybe we should tell Canada how to deal with indigenous peoples,” he said.

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The Chinese Embassy in Ottawa has so far not commented on the Canadian delegation in Taiwan. Lawmakers shook their heads when Global News asked if they were concerned that their visit could further provoke the Chinese government against Taiwan.

“No, because these visits are part of a decades-long policy among democracies to send parliamentary delegations to Taiwan,” Chong said. Told.

“What has changed is Beijing’s position.

© 2023 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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