The Czech foreign minister said he would summon Chinese ambassadors to Prague after Beijing threatened the opposition politician “pay a heavy price” for visiting the island of Taiwan.
“I expect the Chinese side to explain those words. Of course the visit affects our relations with China, but I think things have gone too far,” Czech Foreign Minister Tomas Petricek told his colleagues. reporter in Prague today.
Czech Foreign Minister Tomas Petricek. Photo: RMX.
The statement was made by Mr. Petricek after Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi warned Czech Senate President Milos Vystrcil “paid a heavy price” for his visit to the island of Taiwan on August 30.
Wang accused Vystrcil of acting thoughtlessly, defying the “One China” principle and “turning himself into the enemy of 1.4 billion Chinese people”. The Chinese Foreign Minister affirmed Beijing would not tolerate such “public provocation”.
The Czech government recognized the “One China” policy, which viewed Taiwan as part of mainland China, and pledged not to send government officials to visit the island. Vystrcil, however, is a member of the opposition right-wing party and is not bound by the rule.
Vystrcil and a delegation of 90 members, including politicians, businessmen, scientists and journalists, landed at Taiwan Taoyuan Airport on the morning of August 30, starting a five-day visit. The President of the Czech Senate said his visit was aimed at promoting business relations with the island of Taiwan.
He spoke today at the parliament of Taiwan and is expected to meet leader Thai Anh Van. Ms. Thai welcomed Vystrcil’s move, saying the visit will “share many core values” and “promote further cooperation in all areas”.
Relations between the Czech Republic and China were hit hard last October after the Prague city hall pulled out of a friendship agreement with Beijing. Mayor Prugue Zdenek Hrib, who is currently on Vystrcil’s delegation, signed a partnership agreement with the island of Taiwan in January, angering mainland China.
China has always viewed Taiwan as part of a territory awaiting reunification, even by force. China also considers Taiwan one of the most sensitive and important issues in international relations, as well as opposes any moves it believes violates the “One China” principle.