Scott Simon: Canada demands likeminded associates in the Indo-Pacific area. It truly is time to take into consideration Taiwan

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As we glimpse towards a put up-COVID economic reconstruction, we will need to have to make cautious decisions about which countries to prioritize. Typical feeling would dictate that our wants are greatest achieved in a place with stable residence legal rights, rule of law, and no track report of arbitrarily detaining Canadians for political uses. Taiwan fulfills all people conditions.

Taiwan is a nation of 23.6 million individuals and currently Canada’s 12th-major trading husband or wife general and the fifth-major in Asia. Not like China, Taiwan is a vivid and progressive democracy, sharing many values with Canada. Without a doubt, it was the very first region in Asia to legalize identical-intercourse relationship, and Taiwan’s President Tsai Ing-wen built a historic apology to Indigenous peoples in 2016 and proven the Indigenous Historical Justice Committee to boost truth and reconciliation.

Obviously, Taiwan is a ready and prepared companion, and Canada has a great deal to gain from cooperation. So, what is the upcoming move?

COVID-19 has not stopped other international locations from deepening their relationships with Taiwan. President of the Czech Senate, Milos Vystrcil, led a delegation to Taiwan in September. Given China’s hostile diplomatic strategies to isolate Taiwan, Vystrcil’s delegation served as a bold act of solidarity. U.S. Secretary of Wellness and Human Products and services Alex Azar and Point out Division Beneath-Secretary Keith Krach also frequented Taiwan.

These leaders know that, when building associations, it is important to demonstrate up in man or woman. Canada could mail a present-day or previous minister or key minister to focus on pandemic collaboration. We could return to negotiations for a overseas expense promotion and security settlement. We stopped all those talks in December 2018 when two Canadians were detained in China in retaliation for Canada’s arrest of Huawei govt Meng Wanzhou. It is not a good indication that we permit Canada-Taiwan relations to also be taken hostage.