A group of legislators departed for Canada on Monday evening in a bid to gain support for Taiwan’s application to join the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP).
Taiwan officially applied to join the CPTPP on Sept. 22 last year, after which a parliamentary friendship group was established to advocate for the bid.
The group has so far sent four letters to leaders and officials of the CPTPP’s member states, including Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong (李顯龍), President of the Peruvian Congress Maricarmen Alva, as well as the speakers of the Canadian Houses of Parliament.
While the legislature is in recess, Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Legislator Chiu Chih-wei (邱志偉), who heads the group, is making the trip with DPP legislators Hsu Chih-chieh (許智傑) and Chung Chia-pin (鍾佳濱).
They plan to return on Wednesday next week.
Chiu told reporters that although no legislators have visited Canada in recent years, “now is a good time, as Canada is getting closer to Taiwan,” while its relationship with China is tense.
At the invitation of Shen Jung-chin (沈榮欽), an associate professor at the School of Administrative Studies at York University, Canada, they are to discuss the CPTPP and a foreign investment promotion and protection arrangement (FIPA) during the trip, he said.
Taiwan and Canada began “exploratory discussions” on signing a FIPA to enhance two-way investment and economic relations in January, he said, adding that the arrangement can be “the bridge that leads to the CPTPP.”
The three are also to visit Canadian members of parliament from several parties, including Taiwan’s long-standing supporters Michael Cooper and Judy Sgro, chair of the Canada Taiwan Parliamentary Friendship Group, he said.
They plan to discuss ways to promote Taiwan’s bid to join the CPTPP with Taiwanese individuals and business groups in Canada, as well as meet Jeffrey Reeves, vice president of the Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada, he added.
Meanwhile, DPP legislators Kuo Kuo-wen (郭國文), Mark Ho (何志偉), Michelle Lin (林楚茵), Lin Ching-yi (林靜儀), Chang Hung-lu (張宏陸) and Chang Liao Wan-chien (張廖萬堅) are to visit Japan from Thursday next week to Aug. 10.
They are to pay their respects to former Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe, who was assassinated during a campaign speech earlier this month, and to discuss Taiwan’s application to join the CPTPP with Japanese lawmakers.
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