Canada, Taiwan & the Defence of Shared Values
Should Canada join other freedom-loving nations in the defence of Taiwan? The answer is a clear and resounding yes.
“Canadians have always been willing to fight for what we believe in.”
Historically Canadians have always been willing to fight for what we believe in. As our national consciousness shifts to one of remembrance today, we ought to contemplate what makes our values of freedom and democracy worth dying for: the multifaceted promise that Canadians are free to live as who we are, believe in what we chose to believe and enjoy the chance to become who we strive towards becoming. These values are not exclusively ours. They are shared by people from every corner of the globe. These principles, in fact, are exactly what the people of Taiwan are fighting for today.
As the whole world follows rising tensions between China and Taiwan, witnessing in real-time how the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) works to undermine Taiwan’s desire for freedom and democracy, this Remembrance Day serves as a sobering moment of reflection for all Canadians. We tell each other that we remember why the sacrifices of the past have allowed us to enjoy the freedom of the present; but, unless we are willing to stand up for those freedoms when they are challenged, these are only hollow words.
Taiwan has chosen not only to pursue economic excellence, but also to be a refuge where millions of people have their rights and freedoms recognized by a democratically elected government; a luxury not afforded to main-land Chinese living under the suffocating grip of the Chinese Communist Party. The refusal of the Taiwanese to kowtow to the consistent pressure of the CCP, proves that freedom and democracy remain treasured by these people. The stance of defiance that Taiwan has chosen to take in the face of imminent and existential danger should serve to rally the free nations of the world against the authoritarianism of the People’s Republic of China.
“It is the height of hubris to believe that the values we cherish came without a price.”
Which brings us to the question that demands to be answered today: Should Canada join other freedom-loving nations in the defence of Taiwan? The answer is a clear and resounding yes. If Canadians are not willing to make sacrifices in the name of furthering and protecting our values, then we are tarnishing the legacy of the heroes we claim to revere. It is the height of hubris to believe that the values we cherish came without a price.
Throughout history Canadians have taken actions to defend freedom, such as the 1941 Defence of Hong Kong. Just as Canadians shared values with the inhabitants of Hong Kong, Canadian and Taiwanese peoples also share values. If those values are attacked in Taiwan, it should be interpreted as our way of life being threatened here at home. When Hong Kong was attacked, Canada chose to defend our collective interests against the tyranny of Imperial Japan. We, the free world, must stand in solidarity with Taiwan against the destabilizing and expansionist agenda of the CCP’s irresponsible aspiration of “reunification.”
Should Canadians neglect to act in a responsive and attentive manner towards the threat currently posed against Taiwan and our shared values, we would be no better than the pacifists that allowed the horrors of World War II to fester for years before any action was taken. Are Canadians and the rest of the free world really willing to lose Taiwan just as we lost modern-day Hong Kong due to our inaction? No. On this day, of all days, we must commit to taking up the torch that has been handed to us by those who paid the ultimate price for freedom. Lest we forget.