Ottawa Journal (July 27 - July 31, 2021)
David Tilson, M.P.
I recently had the honour and privilege of leading a Canadian parliamentary delegation to the Republic of China (Taiwan). During our visit, we gained a better understanding of the Taiwanese culture, economy, and political structure. We also identified key issues of mutual importance between our two countries and ways to build and strengthen this relationship.
The delegation to Taiwan included five other Members of Parliament including: John Weston (Conservative), John McCallum (Liberal), Judy Sgro (Liberal), Judy Foote (Liberal), and Robert Bouchard (Bloc Québécois). We arrived in Taipei on July 5th and began a series of meetings with government officials and visits to various sites of historic and cultural importance.
Earlier in the week, we met with the Deputy Minister of the Government Information Office, the Chairman of the Chinese International Economic Cooperation Association, and visited the Taipei Financial Center. Following that, we had an intriguing meeting with the Deputy Minister of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Honourable Andrew L.Y. Hsia. We then visited Tamkang Senior High School, where we learned a great deal about the Taiwanese educational system.
Later in the week, the delegation had a briefing at Taroko National Park Headquarters and then toured this extraordinary site. We then had a meeting with the Deputy Minister of the Ministry of Economic Affairs and had the privilege of attending a ceremony for the presentation of the “Canada-Taiwan Friendship Award,” to Premier LIU Chao-shiuan by the Canadian Trade office in Taipei. I had the honour on behalf of Canada of addressing those present at the evening where this award was presented.
The end of our visit was marked with a memorable visit to the Central Taiwan Science Park (CTSP). The Park was founded in 2003 and is located in the centre of Taiwan with convenient land, air, and ocean transportation networks. It was built to provide a high quality international science park based on the principles of production, life, ecology, and living. Since its very recent origins, it has become a science park with the combination of high technology and everyday life.
Another major highlight of the trip was our meetings with the President of Taiwan, Ma Ying-jeou and the Vice-President, Vincent C. Siew. During our meeting, we discussed issues of importance between Taiwan and Canada including: beef, visa requirements, Taiwan-mainland China relations, potential trade agreements, the world economy, and the environment.
Our delegation arrived home with a renewed sense of Canada’s strong and invaluable relationship with Taiwan. I look forward to continuing to build on this relationship through my role as Member of Parliament and as a member of the Government Caucus.