Tag Archives: Czech Republic

Czech Senate President tells Taiwan Parliament ‘He’s Taiwanese’

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Comments are likely to rile China, which has threatened to make Milos Vystrcil pay a ‘heavy price’ for visiting island.


The president of the Czech Senate declared that he was Taiwanese in a speech at Taiwan’s parliament on Tuesday, channelling late US President John F Kennedy’s defiance of Communism in Berlin in 1963, in remarks likely to further rile Beijing.

Addressing Taiwan’s parliament on Thursday, Milos Vystrcil, who is leading a delegation of about 90 politicians and business executives, said Kennedy’s declaration: “Ich bin ein Berliner,” was an important message for freedom.

“Please allow me to use the same method to express support for Taiwan’s people. Allow me to be so humble but also resolute in saying to your country’s parliament that I am Taiwanese,” Vystrcil said to a standing ovation.

Vystrcil spoke in Czech and his comments were translated into Mandarin.

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China claims the democratically ruled island as its territory and has already threatened to make Vystrcil pay a “heavy price” for his visit.

The Czech Republic, like most countries, has no formal diplomatic ties with Taiwan.

Kennedy’s speech in 1963, telling the people of West Berlin who were surrounded by Communist-ruled East Germany that he too was a Berliner, is often seen as one of Kennedy’s greatest speeches.

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Vystrcil has said his Taiwan visit underscores the “values-based” foreign policy put in place by late President Vaclav Havel, a dissident under the country’s Communist rule and a personal friend of the exiled Tibetan leader, the Dalai Lama.

Vystrcil is the first senior foreign politician from a non-diplomatic ally of Taiwan to deliver a speech at Taiwan’s parliament.

Czech Senate President Milos Vystrcil receives a medal before delivering a speech at the main chamber of the Legislative Yuan in Taipei, Taiwan [Ann Wang/ Reuters]

Taiwan Legislative Yuan Speaker You Si-kun said Vystrcil’s Taiwan visit not only strengthened the friendship between the two countries but would also deepen democracy.

While the Czech government has not supported his visit, it has been upset by China’s strong condemnation and has summoned the Chinese ambassador in Prague. Beijing on Monday also summoned the Czech ambassador.

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Czech Foreign Minister Tomas Petricek said earlier on Monday he expected China to explain the threat against Vystrcil.

“Of course the journey has an impact on our relationships with China, but I think this has gone too far,” he told journalists.

Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babis has labelled the statement “impertinent and inappropriate”.

Czech President Milos Zeman has sought closer business and political ties with China since taking office in 2013, but his efforts have been hit by failed investment plans and Czech wavering about allowing China’s Huawei Technologies to play a role in developing next-generation telecoms networks.

SOURCE: Noble Reporters Media, News Agencies


#Newsworthy…

Breaking: China threatens Czech republic over Taiwan visit.

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The arrival of the Czech delegation marks the second high-profile foreign visit to the democratic island in a fortnight.


Top Chinese diplomat Wang Yi said Czech senate speaker Milos Vystrcil would “pay a heavy price” for violating the so-called “One China” principle by making an official visit to Taiwan, the Chinese foreign ministry said in a statement on Monday.

Vystrcil arrived in Taipei on Sunday with a delegation of 90 people including the mayor of Prague on a trip designed to promote business links with Taiwan, which China claims as its own and tries to isolate on the world stage.

He said the Czech Republic would not bow to objections from Beijing, which considers the democratically-ruled island a breakaway province.

China’s state media quoted Wang saying the visit was a “provocation” and that Taiwan was an “inseparable part of China”.

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It is the second high-profile visit by a foreign delegation to the island in a fortnight, after a visit by US Health Secretary Alex Azar.

Vystrcil is expected to deliver a speech in Taiwan’s parliament and meet President Tsai Ing-wen during the five-day trip, which continues until September 4.

In a post on Twitter, Tsai noted that Taiwan and the Czech Republic shared “many core values”. Foreign Minister Joseph Wu, who met the delegation at the airport, thanked the Czechs for “putting friendship before politics” and used the hashtag #defenddemocracy.

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China has sought to isolate Taiwan diplomatically, ramping up pressure since Tsai came to power in 2016. A number of countries that did have formal relations with Taiwan have shifted their allegiance to China and the island now has official ties with just 15 nations.

Czech Senate President Milos Vystrcil (left) was greeted at the airport by Taiwan’s Foreign Minister Joseph Wu (right) [Sam Yeh/AFP]

Tsai won a second term in office in January in a landslide victory.

Tsai has portrayed the island as a progressive democratic ally to other nations hoping to push back against Beijing’s authoritarianism, helped by Taiwan’s defeat of its coronavirus outbreak and its global shipments of personal protection equipment.

In a speech to an Australian think-tank last Thursday, Tsai described Taiwan as being “on the front line of freedom and democracy” as China cracks down on dissent in nearby Hong Kong and elsewhere.


#Newsworthy…