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Ottawa [Canada], May 20 (ANI): Reiterating Canada's support for Taiwan, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has said that Ottawa's longstanding position was to ensure Taipei's voice was heard in multilateral forums.

Trudeau was speaking at the House of Commons on Wednesday. He had been asked by Conservative Member of Parliament and Shadow Foreign Minister Michael Chong whether Ottawa supported Taiwan's participation in the 75th World Health Assembly (WHA), and the 41st assembly of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO).

Responding to Chong, Trudeau said that Canada's longstanding position was to support "Taiwan's inclusion in multilateral forums, and multilateral bodies to make sure that their perspective is heard", Focus Taiwan reported.

Earlier Canadian parliamentarian Michael Cooper stated that Taiwan is not a part of China in the House of Commons in a clear discomfort to China. Cooper raised Taiwan mislabelling issue by Canadian Institutes of Health Research, reported Taiwan News.

"Taiwan is not a province of China, Taiwan is Taiwan!" he said.

Canada follows a "One China Policy," which acknowledges that there is only one Chinese government, does not recognise Taiwan as a sovereign state and does not maintain official government-to-government relations with Taipei.

This is different from Beijing's "One China Principle" which insists Taiwan is a part of China and will be reunified with the mainland one day under the Chinese Communist Party.

The dispute over independence between mainland China and Taiwan stems back to the Chinese Civil War, when in 1949 the armies of Mao Zedong forced then-leader Chiang Kai-shek and the remnants his government known as the Kuomintang to retreat to Taiwan, where they declared it the Republic of China (ROC). The mainland under Mao became the People's Republic of China (PRC), but that government was not internationally recognized until the '70s.

The ROC originally claimed to represent the entirety of China in 1949, held China's seat on the UN Security Council and at the time was recognized by many nations as the sole Chinese government in power.

However, in 1971 the UN awarded diplomatic recognition to Beijing, forcing the ROC government out.

Taiwan's status is a convoluted situation as it denies claims that it belongs to the PRC, has its own constitution, has been governed independently since 1949 and fiercely defends its current democratic status.

However, formal independence from the mainland has not been declared though Taiwan views itself as a sovereign state, despite its legal status being ambiguous. (ANI)

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