Milos Vystrcil

Petr Dubinsky

Senator To Lead Trade Delegation To Taiwan

Senate President Miloš Vystrčil will be accompanied to Taiwan by a 90-member delegation, including eight senators. The trade mission was approved today by the upper house organizing committee. Věra Kuberová, the widow of the late Senate President Jaroslav Kubera, who was initially planning the trip, will fly to Taiwan. Vystrčil has a meeting with the president of Taiwan, the speaker of the parliament, and some ministers.

Vystrčil will not fly to Taiwan by government plane, but by a Taiwanese airline. The Senate President reiterated that this was due to practical reasons related to the coronavirus pandemic, not political pressure. If a government squadron were used, the delegation would have to disembark for several hours at the stopover, which would mean that it would have to quarantine in Taiwan. “The government squadron did not cause any problems. We really had no other solution than to use a commercial flight,” he said.

Coronavirus protection measures will also affect travel preparation. According to Vystrčil, the delegation members will enter the voluntary quarantine in advance and behave very carefully according to his words for the last 14 days. Therefore, he did not rule out that some interested parties will reconsider their participation; however, according to him, there is still a slight excess of interest in the trip. He also intends to be careful and wear a veil more often than required by regulations.

The delegation, led by Vystrčil, will visit Taiwan in September. China, which considers Taiwan its province, protested against the trip. The Castle and government officials also criticize the visit. Kuber planned the mission before his death in January. In particular, President Miloš Zeman was against the trip, saying it would endanger relations with China. Even Prime Minister Andrej Babiš and Foreign Minister Tomáš Petříček did not recommend the trip. However, he decided to carry out the mission for reasons of principle and pressure from China, which threatened retaliation.