Petr Dubinsky

Czech Republic, Taiwan Plan Direct Flights

Prague Mayor Zdeněk Hřib (Pirates) thanked Taiwan for its cooperation today after talks with Taiwanese Foreign Minister Joseph Wu. The mayor negotiated with Wu, among other things, on a direct line between the capitals of the Czech Republic and Taiwan. He also handed over a commemorative coin depicting the Prague Astronomical Clock to the Minister and expressed support for Taiwan’s membership in the World Health Organization (WHO).

“I would like to appreciate that, from my point of view, Taiwan is clearly a much more reliable partner than the party of the People’s Republic of China used to be for us,” said the mayor of Prague. He said that Taiwan in Prague, for example, had donated robotic arms and other equipment for secondary vocational schools, which the students of these schools would use in their teaching, and together they participated in discussions and projects.

According to the mayor of Prague, he and Wu also discussed the issue of a direct flight between the Czech and Taiwanese capitals, Taipei. According to Hřib, direct air connections between metropolises are now still in solution. The negotiations were affected by the covid-19 pandemic. Wu said Taiwan “will do its utmost to restore tourist contacts and allow people to visit the Czech Republic.”

Mayor Hrib also expressed support for Taiwan’s membership of the World Health Organization (WHO). He justified this mainly by the way in which Taiwan managed the coronavirus pandemic. Wu also described the fact that countries in the world could not benefit from Taiwan’s experience with highly infectious diseases. “The exclusion of such an international organization is very unfair to the people of Taiwan, but it is equally unfair to other countries that would be able to benefit from Taiwan’s experience,” the minister said.

China, which considers Taiwan a part of it, protested against the Czech Republic’s official acceptance of Taiwanese ministers. Last year, it strongly opposed the visit of the Czech delegation to Taiwan. It threatened political and economic sanctions. The criticism was repeated by the Chinese embassy in Prague on Tuesday and today.