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Canadian lawmakers plan Taiwan trip amid rising China tensions

OTTAWA: A delegation of Canadian lawmakers plans to go to Taiwan in October to hunt financial alternatives within the Asia Pacific area, Liberal Member of Parliament Judy Sgro stated on Wednesday (Aug 17), a transfer that might additional stoke tensions between China and the West.

The relationship between China and the West has worsened since US House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi visited Taiwan earlier this month in opposition to Beijing’s needs. China claims Taiwan as its territory and is in opposition to international politicians visiting the island. Democratically ruled Taiwan rejects China’s claims.

In response to Pelosi’s go to, China restricted commerce and launched huge army drills round Taiwan, in addition to slapped sanctions on Pelosi.

Beijing additionally imposed sanctions on a Lithuanian minister who visited Taiwan days after Pelosi’s trip.

China stated one other trip by US lawmakers to the capital Taipei on Sunday was an infringement on its sovereignty and territorial integrity.

The Chinese embassy in Ottawa didn’t reply to a request for remark.

The Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Canada didn’t instantly reply to an emailed request for remark.

Sgro stated members of a parliamentary committee on commerce have been planning to go to the self-ruled island for a while.

“The intent is not to disrupt and cause problems for Taiwan, or problems for China. It’s about trade, it’s about friendship, it’s about opportunities for Canada, in that whole Asia Pacific region,” Sgro, who heads the commerce panel, instructed Reuters.

Sgro stated Canadian lawmakers have visited Taiwan bi-annually up to now however stopped because of the coronavirus pandemic.

“This is part of an ongoing effort for us to ensure that the doors are open for Canadian companies wherever there’s trade opportunity,” Sgro stated.

Conservative MP and vice chair on the commerce committee, Randy Hoback, stated he would search steerage from the Canadian international ministry earlier than deciding on visiting Taiwan.

“I think we need to get back to normalcy in a lot of things and one of that is in visits and having interaction from country to country,” Hoback instructed Reuters.

An extended-running standoff between Canada and China ended final yr when US prosecutors agreed to finish a financial institution fraud case in opposition to Huawei Chief Financial Officer Meng Wanzhou, a high-profile Chinese businesswoman. She had been held underneath home arrest in Canada throughout extradition proceedings.

After Meng was freed, China liberated two Canadians who had been held by Beijing on espionage fees.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s authorities stated it revered the choice by lawmakers to go to Taiwan.

“Parliamentary associations and friendship groups travel regularly and we respect their independence,” Canada’s international ministry stated in an announcement.

Canadian Foreign Minister Melanie Joly earlier this month stated US-China tensions after Pelosi’s go to may destabilise the Taiwan Strait area and referred to as on Beijing to de-escalate the scenario.

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