(Ottawa) Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says his government will ensure MPs consider all possible consequences of a business trip to Taiwan.
Posted yesterday at 2:42 pm.
The House of Commons Standing Committee on International Trade is seeking budget approval to visit the island nation east of China this fall.
However, there are fears that the visit could raise tensions with China, which condemned US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taipei earlier this month.
China considers the island of Taiwan as its territory and Beijing imposes sanctions on Mme Pelosi held military exercises across the country in retaliation for his visit.
Trudeau said Friday that MPs will make their own decisions about their committee studies and the trips they take.
“There are important discussions going on right now,” he told a press conference in the Magdalen Islands.
Trudeau expressed concern about China’s growing aggression toward Taiwan, but had confidence in the committee’s verdict.
“I know the parliamentary committee will think carefully with all the facts and all the analysis to make the right decision for Canada and the world,” the prime minister said.
English said his government would ensure that parliamentarians decide whether to travel after considering the consequences and implications of such a trip.
The International Trade Committee hopes to visit both Taiwan and Singapore during the trade mission, but the House of Commons has yet to approve a budget for the trip.
NDP MP and committee member Brian Massey argued earlier this week that Canadians “need to support other democracies that have fought for their rights and freedoms.”
Randy Hoback, a Conservative MP and vice-chair of the committee, said MPs from the Canada-Taiwan parliamentary “friendship group” visited Taiwan twice a year before the COVID-19 hit and movement was not restricted.
Mr Hoback has already visited the island, 160km off the coast of south-east China, with a team.
But this time, the Conservative MP wants to consult with Global Affairs Canada before making the trip.
He said on Wednesday that there is no intention from my side to insult China.
During the visit M.me Pelosi and Canadian Foreign Minister Melanie Jolie urged China to ease tensions, saying lawmakers often make international visits and not use them to justify China’s decision to hold meetings.
Representative M.me Jolie said earlier this week that parliamentary groups and friendship groups travel regularly and that she respects their independence.
“Canada continues to enjoy strong and growing trade and people-to-people ties with Taiwan,” said Emily Williams. Canada is committed to upholding rules that have ensured peace and stability for decades, including throughout the Indo-Pacific region. »
Canada’s Taipei Economic and Cultural Office said it would offer its “full support” for the parliamentary committee’s visit, which would allow dialogue to continue on topics such as trade and investment, education and technology.