As parliamentarians announce plans to visit Taiwan this fall, dozens of Canada-based groups known for their pro-Beijing positions are voicing support for communist China's threat to take control over the self-ruled island.
Pelosi's visit was met with fierce criticism from Beijing, which says Taiwan is a rogue province that should be "reunited" with mainland China, even though the communist regime never ruled the island. Beijing has refused to rule out using force to "reunify" with Taiwan, and has been making increasingly aggressive threats to do so in recent years.
Some groups have echoed Beijing's position, declaring support for the Chinese Communist Party's (CCP) "reunification" with Taiwan and saying that it is a "sacred mission of all Chinese sons and daughters at home and abroad."
The letter was published on Aug. 16, the same day that Sgro announced that parliamentary members of the Canada-Taiwan Friendship Group will be visiting Taiwan in the fall.
The letter also cites a CCP white paper on Taiwan, saying the paper is a demonstration of the will of the Chinese regime and people to pursue reunification. The paper, entitled "The Taiwan Question and China's Reunification in the New Era," was prompted by Pelosi's visit to Taiwan, and says that Taiwan has been part of China since ancient times and the island's reunification with the mainland represents a historic mission for the ruling CCP.
Signatories of the letter in Dawa News include groups like the Canadian Alliance of Chinese Associations, Chinese Benevolent Association of Vancouver, and many others.
Hilbert Yiu, a former chairman of the Chinese Benevolent Association of Vancouver, said in an interview in Mandarin that Pelosi's trip to Taiwan was a "publicity stunt," aimed to pull China into war.
Pifeng Hu, the honorary president of the Richmond, B.C.-based Peace and Development Forum of Canada Society which also signed the letter, said his organization had held public discussions about Taiwan issues, but had never invited anyone who supported the official independence of Taiwan because that position is incompatible with that of his group's members.
'Not Acceptable'Angel Liu, the director-general of the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Vancouver, which represents Taiwan's Foreign Ministry, said the Dawa News letter had been forwarded to her by many Taiwanese-Canadians and it expressed views that were "not acceptable at all by all overseas Taiwanese."
She said the Chinese regime was stepping up messaging in Canada in relation to Taiwan.
"I don't know if the strategy is useful for others, but it's useless to Taiwanese-Canadians," Liu told The Canadian Press in an interview in Mandarin.
David Mulroney, a former Canadian ambassador to China, said he accepted the right of groups to hold different opinions, but he was sometimes concerned whether organizations were repeating views at the behest of foreign governments.
"And again, I'm not saying that's happening in this case, but this is where my concern is. What I would like to be sure of is that all organizations are expressing their own personal views, and not passing on the views of another unnamed actor, because then that, I think, is problematic," Mulroney told The Canadian Press.
He noted that Canada had no law requiring individuals or groups to register their activities if they were lobbying on behalf of a foreign state, unlike countries such as Australia.
Measures Against TaiwanPrior to Pelosi's arrival in Taiwan, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) took both economic and military measures to intimidate Taiwan, and continued to ramp up military exercises, including conducting live-fire military drills, in the Taiwan Strait and neighbouring regions. These measures have drawn criticism from Canada and the international community.
The Chinese Embassy in Canada also released a statement on Aug. 5, condemning the release of the G-7 statement and Pelosi's trip to Taiwan. It also described the Canadian foreign affairs minister's call for China to deescalate as "false accusations" against China.