Petr Dubinsky

Taiwan’s Foreign Minister To Visit Czech Republic

At the end of October, three Taiwanese ministers and a business delegation will visit the Czech Republic. The visit follows on from last year’s Senate mission to Taiwan. The Senate Foreign Affairs Committee recommended to the government that it use the visit to deepen mutual dialogue and mediate the establishment of business cooperation, for example in the production of chips for cars. China protested against the official admission of Taiwanese ministers to the Czech Republic.

The Minister of Development Kung Ming-sin and the Minister of Science and Research Wu Chunchung are to visit the Czech Republic from 24 to 26 October with a business delegation as part of regular bilateral economic consultations, which have been held since 2016 in cooperation with the Czech Ministry of Industry. and trade. Their stay will be followed by a two-day visit by Foreign Minister Joseph Wu, who will come at the invitation of the Sinopsis project. The Senate Committee sees this as an opportunity to “strengthen strategic cooperation in high value-added industries, in a situation where companies around the world producing in the PRC are looking for ways to transform supply chains and new territories for development and production”.

Among other things, the Committee supported the Czech-Taiwanese Trade and Investment Forum , which will be organized by the Confederation of Industry and Transport of the Czech Republic on 25 October in Prague as part of its visit. The Committee asked the government to mediate negotiations with Czech partners on further cooperation, especially in tourism, artificial intelligence, cyber security, information and computer technologies or the production of electric cars. He also encouraged cooperation in the areas of development, design and production of chips, the global shortage of which stopped production at Škoda Auto.

Sinologist Martin Hála also sees an opportunity for the Czech economy in the visit of Taiwanese ministers. This was stated on the website of the project Sinopsis. According to him, instead of the pro-Chinese economic diplomacy promoted by President Miloš Zeman, which did not bring the promised Chinese investments, it can finally help the Czech Republic to increase its added value, mainly thanks to cooperation in the field of advanced technologies.

The Senate Committee, chaired by Pavel Fischer (independent), also called on the government to help push for the opening of negotiations on an investment agreement between Taiwan and the European Union, which some member states are blocking, given the extraordinary potential for further development.

China, which considers Taiwan a part of it, expressed in a spokesman for its embassy in response to the committee’s recommendation, saying “great dissatisfaction and strong opposition to provocation over Taiwan-related issues” called it gross interference in China’s internal affairs. According to the Chinese embassy, ​​informal economic and people-to-people exchanges with Taiwan are possible, but not “any form of official exchange between countries that have established diplomatic relations with China and the Taiwanese authorities.”

A spokesman on the embassy’s website stated that China is the Czech Republic’s largest trading partner outside the EU and that the Czech side “will not be subject to political manipulation by some anti-Chinese forces”. Last year, China strongly protested against the visit of Taiwan by a senate delegation led by the chairman of the upper house, Milos Vystrcil (ODS), threatening political and economic sanctions. According to information from ČTK, Vystrčil is to reciprocally meet with Foreign Minister Wu in the Senate.