Milos Vystrcil

Petr Dubinsky

Senate President To Visit Taiwan

Senate President Milos Vystrcil will visit Taiwan later this year despite warnings from China.

Mr. Vystrcil will be accompanied by a business delegation on his trip which is scheduled for August 30 to September 5.

Vystrcil said he was also planning to meet Taiwan’s leaders, but didn’t immediately give details.

Vystrcil’s predecessor in the post, Jaroslav Kubera, was planning to travel to Taiwan before he died in January. His plans angered pro-China Czech President Milos Zeman.

A letter to Kubera from the Chinese Embassy in Prague warned him against going on the trip, saying the visit would have negatives consequences for future economic relations between China and the Czech Republic.

The Czech Republic has established informal relations with Taiwan but recognizes the one-China principle — the notion that Taiwan belongs to Communist Party-ruled China.

Vystrcil said China’s pressure, including a warning from the Chinese Embassy against congratulating Taiwan’s pro-independence President Tsai Ing-wen on her re-election, contributed to his decision to travel to the island.

“The People’s Republic of China believes it has a right to tell us what to do,” Vystrcil said. He said the Czech Republic will benefit from his trip.
Taiwan is an important business partner for the Czech Republic and has invested more in the Czech economy than mainland China.

In a separate development condemned by China, the Czech capital of Prague signed in January a partnership agreement with Taiwan’s capital, Taipei, three months after canceling a similar deal with Beijing.