A bill aimed at supporting Taiwan's involvement in international organizations will be debated in the Senate on Sept. 28. Canada has been enhancing its ties with the democratic island, which has increasingly been confronted with threats from Beijing.
The bill, officially titled an "Act Respecting a Framework to Strengthen Canada-Taiwan relations," was introduced by Sen. Michael MacDonald. It underwent its first reading on Sept. 26, and is scheduled for its second reading and debate in two days.
The bill highlighted the need to support Taiwan’s participation in international trade agreements, including the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), an 11-member trade agreement between countries in the Indo-Pacific region.
Two cross-party parliamentary delegations from Canada, one led by Liberal MP John McKay in April and the other by Tory MP Melissa Lantsman in July, have visited Taiwan this year. During both visits, Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen called on Ottawa to support Taiwan's entry into the CPTPP, citing the potential benefits for Taiwan's trade in the face of rising economic challenges from Beijing.
Taiwan, a self-governing democracy situated southeast of mainland China, has repeatedly encountered military and other coercive actions from Beijing, as the communist regime seeks to bring it under its governance. The bill, however, emphasized that Taiwan has maintained independent governance separate from Beijing since the Chinese Communist Party assumed control over the mainland in 1949.
The former government of China, led by the Nationalist Party, retreated to Taiwan during the Chinese Civil War in December of that year, with the status of independent governance between Taiwan and the mainland remaining in place to the present day.
Under its "One China Policy," Canada has maintained unofficial yet robust economic and cultural ties with Taiwan. The bill also emphasized that this policy differs from Beijing's "One China Principle," which seeks to compel the international community to recognize Taiwan as part of its territory via universal consensus.