Czech politicians’ ‘visit’ to Taiwan will only harm Czech’s own interests

By Sun Haoran Source: Global Times Published: 2020/8/29 16:19:07

Taiwan Photo: Unsplash

Czech Senate President Milos Vystrcil was set to lead a delegation to the island of Taiwan on Sunday, the highest-ranking official of the Czech Republic to ever visit the island. A Chinese expert said the move was instigated by the US, that it will only harm China-Czech Republic relations and the Central European country's own interests, and suggested that China retaliates against politicians who meddle in China's sovereignty issues.

"Vystrcil's visit to Taiwan has a strong connection to current China-US 'decoupling,'" Lü Cuncheng, a research fellow at the Institute of Taiwan Studies of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences in Beijing, told the Global Times on Saturday.

Anti-China forces in the Czech Republic have been incited by the US to play the so-called Taiwan card and they would hijack and compromise China-Czech Republic relations, said Lü. "This will do nothing but harm the Czech Republic's own interests. The Chinese mainland is far more important to the Czech Republic than is the island of Taiwan," Lü noted.

US Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar visited the island of Taiwan earlier in August.

In response to a letter from Reinhard Butikofer and Maria Spyraki, members of the European Parliament (MEP), to Ambassador Zhang Ming, Head of the Chinese Mission to the European Union, about "concern" over China's opposition to Vystrcil's planned trip to Taiwan, Zhang said in a written reply that Taiwan is an inalienable part of Chinese territory, and Taiwan affairs are China's internal affairs, Mission of the People's Republic of China to the European Union posted on its website on Saturday.

Zhang stressed that the one-China principle, which is well recognized by the international community including the UN and the EU, is a prerequisite and political basis for the maintenance and development of friendship and cooperation between China and other countries, noting that the principle concerns China's core interests and the sentiments of the 1.4 billion Chinese people. 

China is categorically against any form of official contacts between Taiwan and countries with diplomatic ties with China. This position is consistent and clear-cut. It does not make any sense for any MEP to interfere in internal affairs of other countries, Zhang noted.

Vystrcil will lead a delegation of about 90 people, including Prague mayor Zdenek Hrib, to the island of Taiwan from Sunday to September 4, during which Vystrcil is scheduled to deliver a speech at National Chengchi University on Monday, the Brussels-based independent English weekly newspaper New Europe reported on Friday.

The Czech Republic has diplomatic ties with China, and the head of its Senate is the second highest-ranking official after the country's president according to its Constitution, said the media.

 "Taiwan's Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) is colluding with external anti-China forces only to seek short-term political benefits. The DPP has hijacked all the people of Taiwan to the dead end of 'Taiwan independence,' and makes them bear the risk of cross-Straits military conflict," Lü said. "DPP will have to bear all the consequences."

However, Lü also pointed out that the domestic political environment of the Czech Republic is complicated, and the visit has been widely criticized within the country. 

According to Czech Radio, Czech President Milos Zeman, Prime Minister Andrej Babis (ANO), and Foreign Minister Tomas Petricek (Social Democrats), were among the Czech politicians who opposed to the trip.

Jiri Ovcacek, spokesperson for Czech president's office, said previously on Twitter that the president, prime minister and foreign minister said the visit was "not recommended." 

Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Zhao Lijian told reporters Thursday that some Czech politicians are making the trip out of their own personal interests. They are disregarding China's solemn negotiations, ignoring mainstream public opinion of the Czech Republic, openly violating the one-China principle that has been consistently pursued by the Czech government, and deliberately destroying the political foundation of China-Czech Republic relations. 

"China condemns this despicable act and urges the Czech side to abide by the one-China principle and handle Taiwan-related questions correctly and prudently," said Zhao.

"China cannot tolerate such an odious act by Czech politicians that infringes on China's core interests," said Lü.

"Due to the complexity of the Czech domestic political environment, China should retaliate precisely against anti-China politicians in the Czech Republic, to prevent China-Czech Republic relations from being fundamentally damaged," Lü noted.

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