Travel of parliamentarians should not be used as a pretext for escalation or aggressive military and economic actions, says Canada after Beijing's stern warning against the visit.

Canada, like much of the West, follows a one-China policy that recognises Beijing, not Taipei, diplomatically, while unofficially it supports Taiwan.
Canada, like much of the West, follows a one-China policy that recognises Beijing, not Taipei, diplomatically, while unofficially it supports Taiwan. (Reuters Archive)

China should not use a planned visit to Taiwan by Canadian lawmakers as a pretext for either military or economic aggression, a spokesperson for Canadian Foreign Minister Melanie Joly has said.

Adrien Blanchard said on Wednesday that parliamentary associations and friendship groups make travel decisions independently and the Canadian government respects that.

"As we have said before, the travel of parliamentarians should not be used as a pretext for escalation or aggressive military and economic actions," Blanchard said.

China warned on Tuesday it would take "forceful measures" if Canada interfered in Taiwan, after news that a delegation of Canadian parliamentarians was planning to visit the island later this year to explore trade opportunities.

China says Taiwan is its territory under the "one-China principle" and objects to foreign politicians visiting the island. Taiwan rejects China's claims and says it's an independent nation. 

Canada, like much of the West, follows a one-China policy that recognises Beijing, not Taipei, diplomatically, while unofficially it supports Taiwan.

China warns of 'resolute measures'

Last week, Canadian Member of Parliament Judy Sgro said members of a Canada-Taiwan parliamentary "friendship group," which does not receive administrative or financial support from the Canadian parliament, were planning to visit the island in October.

"China will take resolute and forceful measures against any country that attempts to interfere with or infringe upon China's sovereignty and territorial integrity," the Chinese embassy in Canada said in a statement sent late on Tuesday.

Defying warnings from Beijing, US House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi visited Taipei earlier this month in what was the highest-level US visit in 25 years.

China responded by staging war games near Taiwan for what it said was stepped-up US support for the island Beijing views as sovereign Chinese territory.

Source: Reuters