Tsai is the 2020 recipient of the John McCain Prize for Leadership in Public Service, the Halifax International Security Forum (HFX) introduced late Monday. Though now impartial, the Washington DC-based worldwide safety discussion board was founded by the Canadian authorities and receives appreciable funding from Ottawa.

This yr’s award is the second in a row that will doubtless displease Beijing, after the 2019 prize went to the individuals of Hong Kong “for their brave fight for their rights in the face of oppression from the government of China.” Beijing regards self-ruled, democratic Taiwan as a part of its territory, and Tsai is a determine of loathing in Chinese state media.

Ottawa was beforehand compelled to deny experiences it had tried to block the award being given to Tsai, after Politico, a media accomplice of HFX, reported in April that ministers had threatened to pull funding if the Taiwanese chief was chosen.
Speaking to lawmakers later that month, Canadian Defense Minister Harjit Sajjan mentioned the experiences had been “absolutely false.” Sajjan mentioned HFX was fully impartial, and added he had “authorized funding for (the forum) twice last year.”
Following the controversy, Canadian lawmakers voted unanimously for a non-binding movement urging the federal government to proceed funding the award, saying that Tsai “is a well-respected international leader, the first female president of Taiwan, and a strong global advocate for democracy … she would certainly be an ideal fit for this award.”
Responding to the vote, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian mentioned Beijing “deplores and rejects the wrong motion related to Taiwan passed by the Canadian House of Commons.”

“Canada should recognize that the Taiwan question is highly sensitive, prudently and properly handle Taiwan-related issues and avoid further undermining bilateral relations,” Zhao mentioned.

It was the second movement in months that put the Canadian authorities in a clumsy place with China, after parliament voted in February to declare the state of affairs in Xinjiang — the place Beijing has been accused of detaining thousands and thousands of Uyghurs and different ethnic minorities — a “genocide.”
Relations between Ottawa and Beijing have plummeted lately, following the 2018 arrest in Vancouver of Huawei govt Meng Wanzhou, who is currently fighting extradition to the United States, the place she is needed for allegedly breaching sanctions in opposition to Iran.
In the wake of Meng’s arrest, two Canadians — Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor — had been detained in China, and later charged with spying. The two men finally went on trial in March, in separate closed-door hearings that had been extensively denounced by Western governments.
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s authorities has come below appreciable criticism for its failure to assist the 2 males, with many lawmakers pushing for Ottawa to take a more aggressive posture towards China.
In March, Beijing sanctioned quite a few Canadians, together with Conservative MP and shadow Foreign Affairs Minister Michael Chong, for spreading what it mentioned was “rumors and disinformation” about Xinjiang. Chong described his designation as a “badge of honour” and mentioned Canadians had a “duty” to name out Beijing over crackdowns in Hong Kong and the “genocide” in Xinjiang.



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