Canadian lawmakers have historically visited Taiwan two times a year, only to hit a pause during the pandemic, says parliamentary trade committee.

"The intent is not to disrupt and cause problems for Taiwan, or problems for China. It's about trade," says Canadian lawmaker Judy Sgro. (Getty Images)

A delegation of Canadian lawmakers has announced plans to visit Taiwan in October to seek economic opportunities in the Asia Pacific region, a move that could further stoke tensions between China and the West.

Members of a parliamentary committee on trade have been planning to visit the island state for some time, Canadian Liberal Member of Parliament Judy Sgro said on Wednesday.

"The intent is not to disrupt and cause problems for Taiwan, or problems for China. It's about trade, it's about friendship, it's about opportunities for Canada, in that whole Asia Pacific region," Sgro, who heads the trade panel, told the Reuters news agency.

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

China says Taiwan is its inseparable province and is against foreign politicians visiting the island. Taiwan, which maintains diplomatic ties with some 14 countries, says it is an independent country. 

READ MORE: Is the US provoking China?

China's sanctions over Taiwan

In response to Pelosi's visit, China restricted trade and launched massive military drills around Taiwan, as well as slapped sanctions on Pelosi.

Beijing also imposed sanctions on a Lithuanian minister who visited Taiwan days after Pelosi's trip.

China said another trip by US lawmakers to the capital Taipei on Sunday was an infringement on its sovereignty and territorial integrity.

The Chinese embassy in Ottawa did not respond to a request for comment.

The Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Canada also did not immediately respond to an emailed request for comment.

Sgro said Canadian lawmakers have usually visited Taiwan twice a year in the past but stopped due to the coronavirus pandemic.

"This is part of an ongoing effort for us to ensure that the doors are open for Canadian companies wherever there's trade opportunity," Sgro said.

Conservative MP and vice chair on the trade committee, Randy Hoback, said he would seek guidance from the Canadian Foreign Ministry before deciding on visiting Taiwan.

"I think we need to get back to normalcy in a lot of things and one of that is in visits and having interaction from country to country," Hoback told Reuters.

READ MORE: US defends Pelosi's Taiwan visit as angry China warns of 'consequences'

READ MORE: China sanctions Taiwanese 'independence diehard' officials

Source: Reuters