Canadian Trade Office in Taipei makes amends to those offended by initial notice on death of former president

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      The Canadian government has conveyed its sorrow over the death of an icon of democracy in Asia.

      Jordan Reeves, executive director of the Canadian Trade Office in Taipei, visited a Taipei hotel to pin a notice on a wall of condolences for former Taiwan president Lee Teng-hui.

      Lee died on July 30 at the age of 97.

      He was the first democratically elected president of the island nation, steering it away from martial law into a bastion of democratic freedoms, including freedom of assembly and freedom of the media.

      In a Facebook post, the Canadian Trade Office in Taipei referred to the deceased politician as "President Lee Teng-hui".

      It was greeted with several positive comments.

      "President Lee Teng-Hui will be fondly remembered," wrote one of the commenters, Y-s Columbus Leo. "He lived through tumultuous times, and steered Taiwan from a foreign colonial and oppressive regime, to a vibrant democracy. He is the Father of Democracy in Taiwan."

      The Canadian Trade Office in Taipei's action came on the same day that British Columbia premier John Horgan tweeted his condolences.

      The reaction to the recent Canadian government message stood in sharp contrast to how a Canadian Trade Office in Taipei Facebook post was received on the day of Lee's death.

      At that time, the Facebook page did not mention the word "president", only referring to him as "Dr. Lee" and noting that he won Taiwan's first general election.

      "The friendship between Canada and Taiwan is rooted in common values, including democracy," the July 30 notice stated. "We commend Dr. Lee and the people of Taiwan for their achievements in building a prosperous democratic society based on universal values and the rule of law."

      That prompted this response from a commenter named Ron Shieh: "Most Canadians expect CTOT express the lease respect to Taiwan's Mr. Democracy to call him Former President Lee Teng-Hui! Instead of kowtowing, standing up to China in Canadian principle could even get our two Michael's back earlier!"

      Another commentar, Jason Shen, simply tweeted "shame".

      Yet another, Mei-Ju Shih, declared: "Seriously Canada! This is the very first time you made me feel ashamed to be Canadian. If you can’t pay your respect, stay quiet and keep the disrespect to yourself. Your post is a disgrace. If we have to reconsider government leadership in foreign policy, we definitely will, for the next round of election."