No justification for China’s aggression due to the visit of Nancy Pelosi to Taiwan: Canada
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TORONTO: Canada is concerned over heightened tension in the Indo-Pacific after China’s aggressive actions following the visit of US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to Taiwan.
Following a meeting with her German counterpart Annalena Baerbock in Montreal on Wednesday, Canada’s foreign minister Melanie Joly told reporters Ottawa is “very preoccupied by the threatening actions that China is taking and their economic coercion”, according to the agency Canadian Press.
She also tweeted, “We are concerned by recent threatening actions by China which risk unnecessary escalation. There is no justification for this aggressive behaviour.”
Joly and Baerbock called upon Beijing to de-escalate tensions in the region. China has been irate over Pelosi’s visit, the most high profile by an American leader in 25 years to Taiwan, as Beijing considers the island part of its territory.
Joly’s remarks came as the foreign ministers of the G7 nations released a joint press statement on the development. “There is no justification to use a visit as pretext for aggressive military activity in the Taiwan Strait. It is normal and routine for legislators from our countries to travel internationally. China’s escalatory response risks increasing tensions and destabilising the region,” the statement said.
Signatories included the US secretary of state Antony Blinken, foreign ministers of Canada, Germany, France, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom, and the High Representative of the European Union.
“We call on China not to unilaterally change the status quo by force in the region, and to resolve cross-Strait differences by peaceful means. There is no change in the respective one China policies, where applicable, and basic positions on Taiwan of the G7 members,” it added.
The leaders also expressed their “shared and steadfast commitment to maintaining peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait” and encouraged “all parties to remain calm, exercise restraint, act with transparency, and maintain open lines of communication to prevent misunderstanding”.
Joly made those comments while Canada is preparing to send two warships into the area. According to the Canadian Press, HMCS (Her Majesty’s Canadian Ship) Vancouver and Winnipeg will sail into the region following the completion of the Rim of the Pacific exercise on Thursday.