Taiwan or 'Chinese Taipei?' CBSA remarks raise questions amid Chinese global-pressure campaign
Canada July 27, 2018 5:05 pm Taiwan or âChinese Taipei?â CBSA remarks raise questions amid Chinese global-pressure campaign
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The federal government is not saying whether a decision by the Canada Border Services Agency to refer to Taiwan as âChinese Taipeiâ is an error or a new policy.
In a press release issued Thursday afternoon, the CBSA announced it had launched an investigation into whether certain types of steel products are being dumped on the Canadian market by âChina, Chinese Taipei, India and South Korea.âStory continues below
READ MORE: Why China is making brands nervous to acknowledge Taiwan
While the concerns over accusations of dumping are not new, calling Taiwan by the name China has been aggressively pushing for other countries and businesses to a dopt over recent years is inconsistent with government communications in the past and if it was intentional, would represent what one former Canadian ambassador to China called a troubling move.
âThereâs no need to use it in the context that border service folks are using it,â said David Mulroney, former Canadian ambassador to China and former executive director of the Canadian Trade Office based in Taipei, the capital of Taiwan.
âWhen itâs an economic issue, using Taiwan is absolutely appropriate and changing it to âChinese Taipeiâ would be a step in the wrong direction.â
WATCH BELOW: Air Canada causes a stir by classifying Taiwan as part of China
The name âChinese Taipeiâ is a term agreed upon by China and Taiwan for when Taiwan participates in inte rnational activities such as the Olympic games.
It is not, however, generally used in trade or diplomatic descriptions.
Mulroney stressed he suspects the use of the name was likely a mistake by the CBSA, pointing to the fact the press release came not from Global Affairs Canada but from the border services agency.
If so, it needs to be corrected.
âI think the fact that itâs coming from CBSA rather than Foreign Affairs suggests itâs a mistake,â he said.
âBut if itâs a mistake, they should change quickly for the sake of accuracy and consistency in policy.â
Global News requested clarification from Global Affairs Canada, the Prime Ministerâs Office and the CBSA but has not received any responses.
READ MORE: China âcanât standâ Justin Trudeauâs talk of human rights, diversity: Ian Bremmer
All of the websites managed by Global Affairs Canada about trade in Taiwan, visiting or moving there, and about joint relations between Canada and Taiwan refer to the island officially known as the Republic of China as Taiwan.
A search of listings on the Global Affairs Canada website returned a total of 253 search results for âTaiwanâ and just 28 for âChinese Taipei.â
Statistics Canada also refers to the island, which China considers a renegade province, as Taiwan, Mulroney said.
WATCH BELOW: China warns Donald Trump, U.S. not to allow Taiwanâs president to pass through
A press release from Liberal MP Bob Nault, who led a parliamentary delegation on a trip to Taiwan in January 2018, does as well.
Nault also could not be reached for comment.
The use of the term comes amid escalating aggression from China against businesses that do not cave to its demands to explicitly refer to Taiwan as Chinese territory.
WATCH BELOW: Canadaâs trade mission in China yields uncertainty
Mercedes-Benz, Zara, The Gap and Delta Air Lines are just some of the high-profile examples of brands that have apologized over cases where China complained photos or wording on products they carry did not adhere to the One China policy because they did not recognize Taiwan as part of China.
While Taiwan has elected its own governments since 1949, China asserts the island belongs to it and will one day be back under its control.
In May, Air Canada also joined the ranks of companies that have bowed to Chinese pressure.
READ MORE: Taiwan is no longer listed as independent country on Air Canada booking website< p>It now lists flight destinations as heading to âTaipei, CN.,â rather than Taiwan.
The Trudeau government has repeatedly been criticized for refusing to condemn Chinese aggression and human rights in the country.
As well, efforts to explore free-trade talks with China have been met with skepticism domestically amid concerns over Chinese state-owned businesses, labour standards and its treatment of dissidents.
READ MORE: No free trade with China under a Conservative government, says Andrew Scheer
Erin OâToole, Conservative foreign affairs critic, said calling Taiwan âChinese Taipeiâ is a problem.
âWe are disappointed that Justin Trudeau has acquiesced to unfair Chinese demands with respect to Taiwan,â he said.
âFor decades, Canada and Taiwan have enjoyed a vibrant economic relationship, as well as close people-to-people ties. This should be maintained and respected. At a time when many other countries are calling o ut unfair trade, diplomatic and other practices by China, only the Trudeau Liberals appear to be turning a blind eye to these actions.â
He added, âA Conservative government will respect this relationship and the people of Taiwan while adhering to Canadaâs long-standing one-China policy.â
This story will be updated if and when clarification is received.
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