‘Unacceptable’ for Federal Agency to Insist Taiwanese Scholar State Nationality as Chinese Province: Tory MP

By Andrew Chen
Andrew Chen
Andrew Chen
Andrew Chen is an Epoch Times reporter based in Toronto.
November 19, 2021 Updated: November 24, 2021

The Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) has repeatedly denied a Taiwanese Canadian the right to specify her nationality unless she accepts that the self-governing democracy is part of communist China, according to Conservative MP Michael Cooper.

In a letter to CIHR president Michael Strong, Cooper said the Taiwanese Canadian scholar, whom he doesn’t name, must indicate “Taiwan, Province of China” when specifying her nationality in all applications to the federal research investment agency.

“The scholar has repeatedly raised her objection about having to inaccurately specify her nationality to the CIHR to no avail,” Cooper said in the letter, which he posted on Twitter.

“The repeated refusal of the CIHR to address this matter, not to mention the CIHR’s insistence on contravening Canada’s ‘one China policy,’ is unacceptable.”

Cooper said he was surprised and disappointed that the CIHR has attempted to justify its refusal to allow the scholar to accurately specify her nationality on the basis that it adheres to the “one China policy,” which asserts that there is only one sovereign state under the name of China.

The 1970 Joint Communique that sets out Canada’s “One China policy” indicates that it merely “takes note” of Beijing’s claim that Taiwan is part of the communist country.

“Canada has never accepted this contention; Taiwan’s territory has never been under the control of the People’s Republic of China,” Cooper said.

He said CIHR also insists on adhering to country codes published by the non-governmental International Organization for Standardization that identifies the island nation as “Taiwan, Province of China.”

“The CIHR’s contention in this regard is absurd,” Cooper said, while noting that the federal Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council and several Canadian universities have corrected this erroneous usage.

Cooper noted that the issue has been brought to the attention of the CIHR multiple times over several years, including by the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office that effectively serves as Taiwan’s embassy in Canada.

“In failing to address this issue, the CIHR appears to be complicit in the Chinese Communist regime’s campaign of aggression and systematic effort to delegitimize sovereign and democratic Taiwan contrary to Canadian foreign policy,” he said.

The MP calls on the health agency to address this matter “in a satisfactory way” and to provide a prompt response on the “corrective measures” that it will take.

The Epoch Times reached out to the CIHR for comment but did not immediately receive a response.

Andrew Chen
Andrew Chen is an Epoch Times reporter based in Toronto.