Zdenek Hrib

Matt Atlas

Shanghai Cuts Ties With Prague

The city of Shanghai’s city government announced the suspension of official communication with Prague.

Shanghai’s retaliatory move is in response to Prague signing a sister-city agreement with Taipei, Taiwan. Shortly after terminating a similar agreement with Beijing.

Reuters reports on the spat, excerpt below.

While Czech President Milos Zeman has pushed ties with China, he has become more critical after promised Chinese investment has failed to materialize. On Sunday, he said he would not attend a summit in China in April.

Prague’s government has forged its own path, including Mayor Zdenek Hrib’s refusal to eject a Taiwanese diplomat from a conference at the demand of a Chinese official. He also flew the Tibetan flag at City Hall.

Taiwan is China’s most sensitive diplomatic issue, as the island is claimed by Beijing as a renegade province. China has stepped up pressure on foreign governments to fall in line with accepting its claims.

On Monday, Hrib and Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je signed a sister city agreement in Prague.

The government of financial hub Shanghai said Prague’s government had made many missteps on core issues such as Taiwan.

They have “wantonly interfered in China’s internal politics and publicly challenged the ‘one China’ principle,” it said in a statement, adding its “stern opposition” to these moves.

As a result, Shanghai was immediately suspending all official interactions with Prague, it said.

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