Canadian parliamentarians would like to visit Taiwan this fall

Canadian parliamentarians would like to visit Taïwan this fall

These elected officials would like to imitate Nancy Pelosi, who made such a trip two weeks ago.

The Canada-Taiwan Friendship Group is one of approximately 60 “Friendship Groups” on Parliament Hill.

Members of the Parliament's Canada-Taiwan Friendship Group could travel to the island of Formosa as early as October, says its chair, Liberal MP Judy Sgro.

These elected officials would like to imitate the Speaker of the United States House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi, who made such a trip two weeks ago.

In an email sent to CBC, the English-language network of Radio-Canada, Ms. Sgro indicated that the deputies and senators who are part of the friendship group hope to visit [Taiwan] in October. She did not, however, provide additional information as to the purpose of the visit or the number of elected officials who might make the trip.

The visit of Nancy Pelosi – who was meant, she said, to show “unequivocal support” of the United States for Taiwan's “vibrant democracy” – has angered the Chinese government, which considers the government to autonomous island as part of its territory.

Beijing responded to the visit of Number 3 of the US government by encircling the island and conducting military exercises near the territorial waters claimed by Taiwan and Japan.

The Canada-Taiwan Friendship Group, whose membership varies by legislature, has visited the island in the past. A trip had been organized in 2014, in particular. For many years, MPs have also met individually with Taiwanese politicians on the spot, angering Beijing.

A fall visit by the friendship group would come nevertheless at a time of heightened tensions between the Canadian and Chinese governments.

National Defense Minister Anita Anand said China's decision to conduct military exercises after Nancy Pelosi's visit to Taiwan was unnecessary escalation.

Carrying out aggressive military activity in the Taiwan Strait using a [diplomatic] visit as a pretext is unjustifiable, she said.

The Chinese Vice Foreign Minister had for his apart urged Canada to immediately correct its mistakes when the G7 condemned China's actions.

The Canada-Taiwan Friendship Group is one of approximately 60 friendship groups on Parliament Hill. It had as many as 89 members in 2021, according to a statement issued by the Taiwanese government last summer.

The informal nature of friendship groups allows MPs and senators to engage with a variety of governments and communities outside of official government business.

Under the “Policy of One Only China” endorsed by much of the international community, Canada maintains only informal diplomatic relations with the Taiwanese government.

Among other groups of friendship, including the Canada-Palestine Parliamentary Friendship Group and the Canada-Uighur Parliamentary Friendship Group. These groups receive no administrative or financial support from the Parliament of Canada.

A delegation of German parliamentarians is also scheduled to visit Taiwan during the first week of October.

With information from CBC

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