Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Excerpt from March 12 Address by Canadian Minister of Foreign Affairs Maxime Bernier to Asian Heads of Mission Meeting

For almost 40 years, Canada has maintained a One China policy.

We recognize the Government of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) as the sole legitimate government of China. This remains the core of our China policy. It guides our bilateral relationship with the PRC. It informs our position on Tibet. And it provides a framework that supports peace and security in the Taiwan Strait.

Under this framework, we oppose unilateral actions by either side aimed at changing Taiwan’s status. In our view, differences should be resolved by peaceful dialogue between the parties concerned.

We welcome the development of democracy on the island of Taiwan. But we are concerned that the substance of the March 22 referendum on joining the UN in the name of Taiwan needlessly escalates tensions across the Strait.

Canada opposes the referendum because it will not, in our view, contribute to peace and security in the region, nor will it be of any help to Taiwan or its people.


Xinhua New Agency Report: "China Applauds Canadian FM's Speech on Canada-China Relations" http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/2008-03/16/content_7801954.htm

The Globe and Mail quoted my response to this speech in a report by Campbell Clark entitled "Canada subtly signalling change of policy toward China" published March 18 . It can be found at: http://docs.google.com/Doc?id=dcfd6fxz_401cvzwd4d4

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