Ottawa Unresponsive to Taiwan's Offer to Help With Beijing Interference, Committee Hears

Ottawa Unresponsive to Taiwan's Offer to Help With Beijing Interference, Committee Hears
Taiwan's President Tsai Ing-wen speaks during a press conference on the seventh anniversary of her tenure, at the presidential office in Taipei on May 20, 2023. (AFP via Getty Images/Sam Yeh)
Andrew Chen

The Canadian government has so far not responded to Taiwan's invitation to share its experience battling Beijing's information and interference activities, Taiwan's de facto ambassador to Canada, Ho-Jen Tseng, told a House of Commons committee.

"No, we haven't got a response from the Canadian side yet," Mr. Tseng said during his testimony before the House of Commons National Defence Committee on Sept. 21.

Given the proposal came from Taiwan's foreign minister, Jaushieh Wu, Mr. Tseng said he expected a response would have come from Canada's Minister of Foreign Affairs Mélanie Joly, or Global Affairs Canada.

Mr. Wu extended the offer to share Taiwan's expertise with allies, including Canada, during a press conference with international reporters on Sept. 6. He said China has persistently attempted to infiltrate Taiwanese society and interfere with its elections. He said the regime's interference tactics often include leveraging sympathetic local media and recruiting "collaborators," such as illegal gambling bosses and businessmen.

Over the past year, China's interference tactics in Canada have been exposed by a series of reports. In a report on Feb. 25, Global News cited national security sources saying that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau had received intelligence briefings on interference in the 2019 federal election. This alleged campaign involved funding a network of 11 federal candidates in the Toronto area. The report also suggested that Chinese international students with fake addresses were transported to a Toronto riding and coerced into voting for a preferred candidate.

The Epoch Times reached out to Global Affairs Canada for comment on Mr. Tseng's remarks, but didn't hear back in time for publication.


Taiwan has cultivated resilience and produced a swift response to China's interference, primarily with regard to the regime's daily cyberattacks. Mr. Tseng pointed out that while reports have shed light on Beijing's interference in Canada's 2019 and 2021 elections, Taiwan contends with such operations on a daily basis.

He noted that both disinformation and misinformation are integral components of the grey zone tactics employed by Beijing as part of its cognitive warfare, which he said is particularly potent during election periods.

"Taiwan has been facing this kind of situation for years, and our society has become much more mature in recent years and knows how to deal with this," Mr. Tseng said. He added that he doesn't believe China's cognitive warfare is "reaping the benefit that they expect to get."

Despite the lack of response from Ottawa regarding the offer from Taiwan's foreign minister, Mr. Tseng remains positive about other ongoing collaboration efforts between the two countries, highlighting several visits by MPs to Taiwan.

In April, Liberal MP John McKay led a delegation of 10 MPs to Taiwan as a gesture of solidarity against Beijing's foreign interference in both countries. A separate parliamentary delegation led by Conservative MP Melissa Lantsman visited Taiwan in July. Meetings with the Taiwanese president and officials focused on strengthening bilateral trade and security partnerships.