China warns of ‘forceful measures’ if Canada interferes in Taiwan

By Thomson Reuters Aug 24, 2022 | 9:56 AM

OTTAWA (Reuters) – China warned it will take “forceful measures” if Canada interferes in Taiwan, a week after it emerged that a delegation of Canadian parliamentarians was planning to visit the island later this year to explore trade opportunities.

China claims Taiwan as its territory under its “one-China principle” and objects to foreign politicians visiting the island. Democratically governed Taiwan rejects China’s claims.

“We urge the Canadian side to abide by the one-China principle and respect China’s sovereignty and territorial integrity,” the Chinese embassy in Canada said in a statement sent late Tuesday.

“China will take resolute and forceful measures against any country that attempts to interfere with or infringe upon China’s sovereignty and territorial integrity,” the Chinese embassy said.

Members of a Canada-Taiwan parliamentary “friendship group”, which does not receive administrative or financial support from the Canadian parliament, had been planning to visit the self-ruled island in October, Liberal Member of Parliament Judy Sgro said last week.

Sgro said the trip would focus on trade and the lawmakers intent was not to disrupt and cause problems for Taiwan or with China.

In a statement, Canada’s government said parliamentary associations and friendship groups were independent, and it respected the lawmakers’ intent to visit Taiwan.

Canada, like the rest of the West, follows a one-China policy that recognizes Beijing, not Taipei, diplomatically, while unofficially it supports Taiwan.

The relationship between China and the West has worsened since U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi visited Taiwan earlier this month against Beijing’s wishes.

(Reporting by Steve Scherer and Ismail Shakil in Ottawa; Editing by Tomasz Janowski)