Scheer backs Liberal Taiwan push at WHO as move long advocated by Conservatives


OTTAWA — Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer is backing the Liberal government’s efforts to include Taiwan in the World Health Organization discussions on COVID-19, a position that China opposes.

But Scheer is also pointing out that his party has long called for Taiwan’s inclusion in organizations such as the WHO and the International Civil Aviation Organization.

Scheer says the organizations provide guidance on health and safety, and their work should not be influenced by China’s foreign policy.

China views Taiwan as a breakaway province, and while Canada does not recognize its sovereignty, the two do have trade and cultural relations.

Last week, Canada backed an international coalition that includes the United States, Japan, Australia and others, seeking to allow Taiwan to have observer status at a major WHO meeting next week.

Taiwan had early success in controlling the outbreak of the COVID-19, and Foreign Affairs Minister Francois-Philippe Champagne has told The Canadian Press that Taiwan’s presence as a non-state observer in the World Health Assembly meetings next week would help the pandemic fight.