I call the meeting to order.
Welcome to meeting number nine of the House of Commons Special Committee on the Canada–People’s Republic of China Relationship.
Pursuant to the order of reference of May 16, 2022, the committee is meeting for its study of the Canada-People's Republic of China relations, with a focus on the Canada-Taiwan relations for the first hour and a focus on the exposure of Canadian investment funds to Chinese equities and bonds linked to human rights violations for the second and third hours.
Today's meeting is taking place in a hybrid format, pursuant to the House order of June 23, 2022. Members are attending in person in the room and remotely using the Zoom application.
I have a few comments to lead with.
For the benefit of the witnesses and members, please wait until I recognize you by name before speaking. For those participating by video conference, click on the microphone icon to activate your mike. Please mute it when you're not speaking.
I think everybody on Zoom has received the test and all of the instructions, but you have the choice at the bottom of your screen of the floor, English or French for interpretation. For those in the room, you can use the earpiece and selected the desired channel.
I would remind you that all comments should be addressed through the chair.
For members in the room, if you wish to speak, please raise your hand. For members on Zoom, please use the “raise hand” function. The clerk and I will manage the speaking order as best we can, and we appreciate your patience and understanding in this regard.
In accordance with the committee's routine motion concerning connection tests for witnesses, I can confirm that all of our virtual witnesses have had the test and are ready to go.
I would like to welcome Ms. Mathyssen and Mr. Kurek to.... I'm sorry. It's Ms. Blaney. I knew that, but it's a long way down there. Thank you for filling in. By the way, please pass on our best to Ms. McPherson, who's not well at all today. Make sure she knows we're thinking of her.
I'd now like to welcome our witnesses for the first hour. From the Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development, we have Paul Thoppil, assistant deputy minister, Asia-Pacific; Weldon Epp, director general, northeast Asia; and Jennie Chen, executive director, greater China political and coordination.
There are two quick things.
As you know, this panel was due to visit with us last week, and at the last minute was unable to. Letters have been exchanged and explanations given. I believe those have been distributed to the committee.
I'd also ask the committee's indulgence. The topic this panel is here to present to us is all about trade and it might be, in fact, a good crossover between the focus on Taiwan and the focus of the next study we're doing on trade with China. I would ask your indulgence in accepting questions and answers from this panel for use in the Taiwan study, as well as the following study.
If everybody is in agreement with that, we will ask, I believe, Mr. Thoppil to make the opening comments.
You have five minutes or less.