What you need to know
Prague's Taiwan-friendly mayor Zdeněk Hřib will join a contingent of Czech politicians visiting Taiwan at the end of August.
Following U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar’s visit, another high-profile diplomatic tour group will arrive in Taiwan at the end of August. Miloš Vystrčil, senate president of the Czech Republic, will lead a contingent of 90 representatives to visit Taiwan.
Prague Mayor Zdeněk Hřib, a supporter of Taiwan, will also join the tour.
"I am honored that the President of the Senate, Miloš Vystrčil, invited me on his foreign trip to Taiwan," Hřib announced on his Facebook on Wednesday, adding that the trip will be “beneficial for everyone.”
Last year, Hřib canceled Prague’s sister city agreement with Beijing due to pressure to recognize the “One China” policy. In retaliation, Chinese authorities threatened to limit the number Chinese tourists traveling to the Czech Republic and canceled the Prague Philharmonic Orchestra’s scheduled tour in China.
Hřib visited Taiwan in 2019 as the mayor of Prague. He said his itinerary for the upcoming visit will be slightly different from his colleagues, since he would be meeting with Taipei officials.
Unlike Vystrčil and Hřib, Czech President Miloš Zeman considers himself a “sincere friend” of China. When China to the European country in March, Zeman said, “China was the only country that helped us have the (protective) gear delivered.”
The former Senate President, Jaroslav Kubera, had planned to visit Taiwan in February despite having received threats from Beijing. Before his trip, Kubera died of a heart attack and his family accused the Chinese embassy of sending Kubera threatening letters that contributed to his death.
After Vystrčil succeeded Kubera, the Czech Senate voted 50 to 1 to support Vystrčil’s diplomatic visit to Taiwan, stating that China’s threats against the trip interfered with Czechia’s internal affairs.
Vystrčil’s tour will be the highest-level visit by a Czech politician to Taiwan to date.
TNL Editor: Daphne K. Lee, Nicholas Haggerty (@thenewslensintl)
If you enjoyed this article and want to receive more story updates in your news feed, please be sure to follow our Facebook.