Thank you very much. It's an excellent question, Mr. Bergeron. I'll take it in two parts.
First, regarding U.S. policy, my view is that international coalitions are much more credible when a member of the coalition, such as the United States, acts consistently. One of my concerns about the Trump administration's foreign policy is on this question of values and democracy promotion. They've been deeply inconsistent, which undermines American credibility and ultimately reduces the ability to forge coalitions in situations like Hong Kong and then to be credible in the eyes of Beijing.
I hope that in the future, perhaps after the election and regardless of its results, America re-embraces democracy promotion, because it's only through America being credible that we can build these more consistently reliable coalitions on these kinds of issues.
Regarding your question on Taiwan, the simple fact is Taiwan cannot and should not be a bargaining chip. It's not a very effective bargaining chip, and I think ultimately we would be betraying our commitments to our values and to the 24 million people who reside on Taiwan. Ultimately, if we started treating Taiwan as a bargaining chip in the Canada-China or the U.S.-China relationship, all we really would be doing is handing a substantial amount of leverage to Beijing and letting them know that we're indifferent about the future of Taiwan, which in my view is certainly not in American interests.
I think a question for you and other members of this special committee is how you want to deal with the question of Taiwan, because I think Taiwan too often is treated and seen as a pawn in the U.S.-China relationship, when in fact Taiwan should be treated in and of itself.
Of course, America has a very special relationship with Taiwan. I understand that, and that's not necessarily applicable to your situation, but I think there are things that you can do, and perhaps should do, on the question of Taiwan, that are independent of the Canada-China relationship. That would then bolster your credibility in your dealings with the Chinese.