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Chinese officials preemptively warn Vancouver not to befriend Taiwanese cities

Council may have to vote on the issue in the future
The Chinese Consulate in Vancouver has warned the city not to befriend any Taiwanese cities, like Kaohsiung (pictured).

Following the City of Vancouver green lighting a Friendship City Program in September the Chinese Consulate-General in Vancouver is warning the city about befriending cities in Taiwan.

In a statement on their website, the Consulate-General of the People's Republic of China in Vancouver says under the one-China principle there is officially only one China and any interaction between Taiwanese and Vancouver authorities would go against that principle. They note authorities in Taiwan 

"If the city of Vancouver establishes Sister City or Friendship City with the cities in the Taiwan region through official authorization, approval from City Council or exchange of official documents, this will be official exchange and official mechanism," reads the statement. "We therefore firmly oppose any official ties in any form between the city of Vancouver and cities in the Taiwan region."

City council recently voted to have staff create a Friendship City Program which would allow community organizations to create and foster official relationships between Vancouver and other cities; they would be a simpler version of the sister city program.

This would allow Taiwanese community groups to propose official friendships with cities on the island. Friendships would require approval from city council.

The Chinese Consulate-General specifically notes there shouldn't be a relationship between the City of Vancouver and the City of Kaohsiung.

Officially the Canadian government suspended diplomatic relationships with Taiwanese authorities in 1970. However, they do have their own offices in Vancouver, called the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office.

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