Sajjan rejects allegations that the government threatened to withdraw funding for the Halifax Security International Forum
The Commonwealth House unanimously adopted a motion on Wednesday in support of the Halifax International Forum’s decision to award the prestigious John McCain Award to the President of Taiwan.
Introduced by conservative diplomatic critic Michael Chong and created in consultation with all political parties, the motion was given to parliamentarians by them. I agree In a statement from the Vice President of the Forum Robin shepherd President Tsai Ing-wen deserves the John McCain Award for leadership in public services.
“Taiwan’s President Tsai Ing-wen is a respected international leader, a female president of Taiwan, and a strong global advocate of democracy,” Chung introduced a motion from a Shepherd statement. ..
“‘She surely fits this award.'”
The Forum annually awards John McCain’s Leadership Award in Public Services “to individuals in every country who have demonstrated unusual leadership in the pursuit of human justice.” Politico reported that the forum plans to award Tsai for “strongly confronting China’s relentless pressure.”
Mr Chung’s non-binding motion also called on the forum’s main sponsor, the government, to maintain funding at its current level even if the organization decides to present the McCain award to Tsai.
The call came after Politico reported on April 11 that Canadian authorities threatened to cut funding for the forum if the award was given to Tsai.forum received $ 3.1 million from the Ministry of Defense for the 2019 International Defense Conference.
Although the forum is based in Washington, it hosts the hottest defense conferences in Halifax each year, attended by senior politicians and military personnel discussing global security issues.
On April 12, Defense Minister Harjit Sajjan rejected allegations that the government threatened to withdraw funding.
“It’s actually absolutely wrong,” he told the Parliamentary Commission on Canada-China relations.
During ~ Question period The next day, Sajan was asked by conservative defense critic James Bezan, “Do you support the forum to keep the money and award the John McCain award to the President of Taiwan?”
“The Halifax International Security Forum is an independent organization that makes its own decisions about where the awards need to be sent,” Sajan replied.
The defense minister refused to commit to funding future events, but said it would be considered if requested.
However, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said funding would continue when Mr Chung asked him in the House of Representatives on April 14.
“The government’s attempt to silence those who criticize China is shameful and fits perfectly with China’s desire to silence foreign critics,” Chung said.
“Will the Prime Minister admit that this was a mistake and promise to continue to fund the Halifax International Security Forum, even if he awards the John McCain Award to Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen?
“The government has supported and funded the Halifax Security Forum throughout his tenure. The Minister participates every year and will continue to participate,” Trudeau replied.
Mr Chung also asked Trudeau if the government would support Taiwan’s participation in the World Health Organization’s (WHO) annual meeting next month.
“As a government, we have always been committed to supporting Taiwan’s meaningful participation in international forums,” Trudeau said.
“Taiwan’s role as an observer at the World Health Assembly conference is for global health. We welcome the participation of the entire international community in working together to promote global health.”
Taiwan, a member other than WHO, May 2020 To share with the international community a successful experience in the fight against COVID-19. At that time, only 440 cases and 7 deaths were reported.
But unless Taiwan tried to admit that it was part of China, Taiwan’s efforts were nullified when Beijing strongly opposed participation. WHO did not invite Taiwan in the end.
The Chinese Communist Party claims that Taiwan is a separate state that should be under its control. The administration has warned other countries not to recognize Taiwan as a sovereign state and has increased military activity near the island in recent months. A spokesman for the Chinese Ministry of National Defense reiterated in January that Taiwan was part of China, warning that “independence means war.”
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said on April 11 that China’s attack on Taiwan was a “serious mistake” and that there were “real concerns” about the Communist Party’s threat to the island.
Tsai, who was reelected in the January 2020 overwhelming election, claims that Taiwan is independent and that the government “will not succumb to intimidation or intimidation” from China.
With a file from Reuters