Czech delegation visit to Taiwan
Visiting Czech Senate President Milos Vystrcil has invited his Taiwanese counterpart to visit the Czech Parliament. Vystrcil issued the invitation to Legislative Yuan (LY) President Yu Shyi-kun after his speech to the LY. Yu replied that after the coronavirus pandemic is over, he will look for a suitable time to do so.
The visiting Czech Republic's Senate leader won a standing ovation during his speech to the LY when he proclaimed in Mandarin “I am Taiwanese”.
In his speech to lawmakers, Milos Vystrcil also offered a strong rebuke to authoritarian politics and Beijing's increasingly aggressive foreign policy.
Vystrcil emphasized democratic freedoms embraced since the Czech Republic threw off communist rule at the end of the Cold War and since Taiwan emerged from martial law at the end of the 1980s.
His visit is in direct opposition to Czech President Milos Zeman, who has expressed strongly pro-China views.
Vystrcil is due to meet Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-Wen later in the week.
Beijing is reportedly furious about the Czech delegation's visit, with its foreign ministry summoning the Czech Republic's ambassador in the country in protest yesterday, saying the visit amounted to “flagrant support of Taiwan independence”.
In related news officials and airline representatives say a direct air link between Taiwan and the Czech Republic could be just around the corner.
Prague Mayor Zdenek Hrib said on his Facebook page, “The direct air link between Prague and Taipei is on its way”, expressing the hope that such cooperation will become a reality after the Covid-19 pandemic recedes.
Earlier that day, Taiwan's China Airlines, which flew the 89-member delegation from the Czech Republic to Taiwan, also confirmed the possibility.
In addition to cooperation in aviation, representatives from the two countries also discussed potential partnerships in other areas, such as business and investment.
National Development Council head Kung Ming-hsin revealed that a Taiwanese business delegation will visit the Czech Republic once the Covid-19 pandemic subsides to enhance economic relations between the two countries.
In separate news, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) has reported that all 89 members of the Czech delegation visiting Taiwan have tested negative for Covid-19. The ministry added that the representatives were also tested within three days before boarding their flight from the Czech Republic.