The Halifax International Security Forum (HFX) announced on July 22 that it’s first major meeting in Asia will be held in Taiwan in January 2022. While the Washington based HFX is known to hold its annual conference in the Canadian province of Nova Scotia every year, it would mark the first time that it will venture into a foreign territory by conducting an additional event in Taiwan. “It’s our pleasure to co-host HFX TAIPEI with the Institute of National Defence and Security Research (INDSRTW), the top military-focused think tank in Taiwan, to celebrate the courage and achievements of one of the world’s most vibrant democracies,” HFX said in a Twitter statement.
HFX president Peter van Praagh said, “HFX will celebrate the courage and achievements of one of Asia’s most vibrant democracies by holding a landmark international security forum in Taipei.”
While the main event is scheduled for November 19 to 21 in the Canadian city of Halifax, the event in Taipei will be held over a period of three days from January 21 till 23 in the Taiwanese capital. It is expected that President Tsai, who was honoured with the prestigious John McCain Prize for Leadership in Public Service will receive her honour in Taipei, which will ensure the Canadian government does not have to deal with the nettlesome issue of having to host the Taiwanese leader.
It’s our pleasure to co-host HFX TAIPEI with @INDSRTW , the top military-focused think tank in Taiwan, to celebrate the courage and achievements of one of the world’s most vibrant democracies. #HFXTaipei2022 https://t.co/0DYZt7AYWJ — Halifax The Forum (@HFXforum) July 22, 2021
The event also holds symbolic importance amidst a tilting balance of power in East Asia towards China. Last week, Japan said that the US-China tensions over Taiwan are an increasingly urgent issue that jeopardizes regional stability. In its annual white paper, the Japanese Ministry of Defence acknowledged the tussle over Taiwan in more direct terms and said that stabilizing the situation in and around the pacific island was paramount for Japan’s security.
China claims sovereign rights over the pacific island located roughly 100 miles from its coast and has been using carrots and sticks to make its democratically elected government surrender. Speaking at the celebrations marking the 100th anniversary of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) on July 1, President Xi Jinping vowed for complete reunification of the motherland, fuelling fears of a possible annexation of the pacific island by Beijing.