Canadian Conservative Party lawmakers on Sunday challenged the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) over its exclusion of Taiwan.
Canadian Member of Parliament Michael Cooper reiterated in a Tweet that Taiwan is a sovereign state and challenged the ICAO’s characterization of the nation as a “province of China.”
“#ICAO this characterization is wrong. #Taiwan is NOT a province of China. TAIWAN is TAIWAN. Democratic & sovereign,” Cooper wrote.
In a session of parliament on Jan. 29, Cooper called on Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to explicitly state the government’s position on Taiwan’s inclusion in international discussions about preventing the spread of COVID-19.
Trudeau responded by saying: “We support Taiwan’s meaningful participation in international multilateral forums. Especially when its presence provides important contributions to the global public good.”
Canadian Member of Parliament James Bezan tweeted: “Has the International Civil Aviation Organization been taken over by the Communist Party of China [CCP]? Hey @icao — get your facts straight! Taiwan is a thriving independent democracy.”
The ICAO, whose secretary-general is Liu Fang (柳芳) of China, has been blocking the Twitter accounts of anyone who expresses support for Taiwan and on Thursday referred to Taiwan as “[China’s] Taiwan Province” when tweeting about the spread of COVID-19.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has called the ICAO an “accomplice” of China’s pressure campaign against Taiwan and asked it to correct its references to the nation.
It has also called on nations friendly to Taiwan to help it communicate with the ICAO, which has its headquarters in Montreal.
Canadian politicians began ramping up challenges to the ICAO’s stance on Taiwan after the organization continued to misrepresent the nation, despite Trudeau’s confirmation of his government’s support.
Canadian Member of Parliament Peter Kent in a tweet responded to Bezan’s question on whether China was influencing the ICAO.
“Short answer is yes. CCP has implanted officials who block legit Taiwan engagement in international aviation safety ... in the same way they have in other international fora,” Kent wrote.
Writing in French, Canadian Member of Parliament Steven Blaney tweeted: “The ICAO should recognize Canada for what it is, an autonomous entity, and not a province of China!”
Canadian Member of Parliament Pierre Paul-Hus tweeted: “Taiwan is Taiwan. Taipei FIR [flight information region] is controlled by Taiwan, which is a full-fledged democratic and sovereign country. Simple and clear.”
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