Czech Senate speaker's Taiwan visit trades ties with mainland for short-term gains: experts

By Xu Keyue and Cui Fandi Source: Global Times Published: 2020/8/26 22:13:40

Taiwan Photo: Unsplash

The speaker of the Czech Republic's Senate is scheduled to visit the island of Taiwan on Sunday, a move that has been opposed by not only the Chinese mainland but also the Czech president's office. Chinese analysts warned some Czech politicians not to sacrifice their country's national interests with regard to China for their short-term political gain.

They noted that the US and the separatist Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) authorities in Taiwan are using the divisions in the Czech Republic to serve their own interests and harm China-Czech ties, which is more important to the Czech Republic.

Reuters reported that Milos Vystrcil, the speaker of the Czech upper house of parliament, will travel to the island with "a trade mission" for six days as the head of a delegation of about 90 political and business leaders.

Taiwan-based media reported on Tuesday that the delegation will attend an investment forum and an enterprise media cooperation conference on Monday.

The visit has been opposed not only by the Chinese mainland but also within the Czech Republic.

In June, the Chinese Embassy in the Czech Republic has already expressed firm opposition in a statement released on its website, saying China has always opposed countries with formal diplomatic ties with China that conduct official exchanges with the Taiwan region, and urged some Czech politicians not to violate the one-China principle - there is only one China in the world and Taiwan is part of China - which is recognized by the UN, EU and the Czech government.

The spokesperson of Czech president's office Jiri Ovcacek said on Twitter that the visit was "not recommended" by Czech President Milos Zeman, as well as the prime minister and foreign minister of the country.

However, due to the country's internal divisions, some Chinese analysts said China could retaliate against politicians who provoke China's sovereignty, and avoid harming Czech companies in China if they do nothing wrong. Also, the visit could potentially further sour the country's relations with China.

Yang Lixian, a research fellow at the Beijing-based Research Center of Cross-Straits Relations, told the Global Times on Wednesday that the Czech Republic would "lose much more than they gain" if they choose the DPP authorities of Taiwan over the Chinese mainland. 

"Considering the mainland's economic strength and contributions to the international community, it is clear that the Czech Republic should not turn its back on the Chinese mainland." 

Earlier this month, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo welcomed the planned trip. 

Yang noted it is normal for a country to have different political stances, but the internal divisions in the Czech Republic are "being exploited by the US to suppress China" and harm China's sovereignty.

Jin Yi, a research fellow at the Institute of Taiwan Studies of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, also pointed out that the US is forcing other countries to pick sides and challenge the one-China principle, and the Czech Republic "will not be the last one."

"China will retaliate when some Czech politicians further challenge China's sovereignty," Yang said.

The DPP authorities in the island of Taiwan have used a lot of resources to make trouble for China-Czech ties, and split the Czech government and Senate in recent years, citing different excuses.

DPP authorities keep saying "this is the highest-ranking Czech official to visit Taiwan ever."

Posted in: DIPLOMACY

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