Taiwan, Canada should deepen security cooperation: Canadian academic

Taiwan and Canada should deepen security and multilateral ties says former Canadian defense official turn academic

Taiwan military veterans march in Toronto, August 22, 2018.

Taiwan military veterans march in Toronto, August 22, 2018. (CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – Former senior Canadian military official and academic, Eric Lerhe called for the Canadian government to review its strategic cooperation with Taiwan, and to loosen its ties to China, in an essay published by Canadian think tank, the Macdonald-Laurier Institute on Aug. 22.

Lerhe argues that Canada should shake off its long-held caution to its relationship to Taiwan, and to expand cooperation, especially in the area of security cooperation.

Lerhe is a senior researcher at the Macdonald-Laurier Institute, after a lengthy career in the Canadian military. He obtained the rank of Commander in the navy, and became Director of Maritime Force Development, as well as Director for NATO Policy at Canada's Armed Forces Headquarters.

Three points of improved cooperation between Canada and Taiwan are outlined by Lerhe. He argues that Canada should push to include Taiwan in multilateral military drills like the Rim of the Pacific Exercise (RIMPAC), the world's largest international marine military exercise. Senior U.S. Republican Party Congressman Ted Yoho made a similar call for Taiwan's involvement in RIMPAC in July.

Canada can also help Taiwan with its indigenous submarine project, which is expected to begin construction in 2020. Lerhe says that Canada's experience in submarine upgrading could be an avenue of mutual benefit.

Lastly, Lehre advocates for Canada to play an active role in supporting Taiwan's involvement in the international community, specifically calling for the Great White North to support Taiwan's bid to join the CPTPP, World Health Assembly and World Health Organization.

Lehre reasons that if Canada does nothing to support Taiwan, the world will sour to something less palatable.