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Taiwan envoy urges Canadian government to pursue stronger ties

Winston Chen encourages Canada to follow US lead and arrange Taiwan visits for high-ranking officials

Taiwan’s representative in Canada, Winston Chen. 

Taiwan’s representative in Canada, Winston Chen.  (CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Taiwan's representative in Canada, Winston Chen (陳文儀), expressed hope that the Canadian government will model the U.S. and send cabinet-level officials to Taiwan in pursuit of increased bilateral ties.

In an opinion piece published by The Hill Times on Monday (Aug. 17), Chen noted that U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar's visit to Taiwan earlier this month was the highest-level trip by a U.S. official since 1979. He said the visit was historic for both sides, especially with so many uncertainties still lingering in the world.

Chen pointed out that Azar's visit fully demonstrated that diplomatic activities can still be carried out between countries with no formal diplomatic relations. He added that both the delegations led by former Japanese Prime Minister Yoshiro Mori and Czech Senate President Miloš Vystrčil have visited or planned on visiting Taiwan, and it would be ideal if Canada can do the same.

Chen said the last Canadian cabinet-level official to visit Taiwan was former Industry Minister John Manley in 1998. Although many changes have taken place since then, he stressed that both countries still have a lot to "gain and learn from each other."

Meanwhile, Chen said inking a foreign investment promotion and protection agreement (FIPA) between the two countries can boost their respective economies, and Canada's support for Taiwan's inclusion in the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) will also establish a foundation for increased bilateral trade and business cooperation. He said Taiwan is willing to share its pandemic efforts with the world and prove that democracy is the best system to overcome the current global crisis, reported CNA.