China will ban all members of Senate President Milos Vystrcil’s Taiwan delegation, state-owned China Daily reports, citing unnamed Chinese officials familiar with the situation. According to these sources, they will also not allow Czech companies whose representatives were in the delegation to enter their market.
The daily wrote that Vystrčil was accompanied in Taiwan by 89 Czech politicians, business people, artists, and academic community representatives. The trip took place at the turn of August and September.
China opposes all official contacts and exchanges between other states and Taiwan, which it considers a breakaway province, China Daily reports.
Vystrcil was accompanied to Taiwan by representatives of 36 mainly small and medium-sized companies, which deal primarily with modern technology areas.
Even before and during the trip, their representatives expressed their readiness to face possible restrictions from China. For example, Radovan Haluza, director of Generi Biotech, a manufacturer of test kits used in human laboratory medicine, said that his company had not penetrated the Chinese market because it would need “political coverage” within China to succeed. He went to Taiwan, saying that a similar “punishment” on the part of China could come. “I’m not surprised, I’m just sorry that China is so mentally different from Europe,” he said.
Pavel Diviš, the chairman of the Czech-Taiwan Chamber of Commerce, is not surprised by the Chinese move either. “But what surprised me is how childish and clearly defined it is,” he said. He described China’s reaction as a continuation of previous statements, including a so-called letter to former Senate President Jaroslav Kuber from the Chinese embassy in Prague and a statement by Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi. He described it as part of Chinese policy.
Beijing has repeatedly protested against the path of Czech politics, warning, among other things, that Vystrcil will pay a high price for violating the principle of one China. The President of the Senate rejected the Chinese criticism and expressed the belief that his visit did not violate the one China policy. Some Chinese threats were rejected by Czech diplomacy and, for example, France and Germany.
A spokeswoman for the Taiwanese Foreign Ministry praised the “political courage” Vystrcil, who visited Taiwan recently, despite China’s threats. The Taiwanese news server Focus Taiwan informed about it. Taiwanese diplomacy spokeswoman Joanne Ou said the Czech politician “showed human dignity and the spirit of the 1989 Velvet Revolution before, during, and after the visit.”
Taiwan has been independent since 1949, when the remnants of Chinese Communist opponents, led by General Chiang Kai-shek, retreated to the island after losing the Civil War.