China cries foul as Taiwan delegation visits Prague – Reuters
PRAGUE: Beijing criticized Prague on Wednesday for hosting a Taiwanese delegation, saying the EU member violated the one-China policy.
The group led by parliament speaker You Si-kun is on a four-day visit to the Czech Republic, which currently holds the rotating EU presidency.
The Chinese Embassy in Prague called you a “convinced separatist” and accused Prague of “seriously violating China’s state sovereignty and territorial unity”.
China is trying to keep Taipei isolated on the world stage and preventing any sign of international legitimacy for the island.
The Czech Republic officially pursues a one-China policy, as does the whole of the European Union, but its officials maintain close ties with the island.
“The Chinese side urges the Czech side to take China’s strict stance seriously, to uphold its one-China political commitment,” the embassy said in a statement. “China…will take all necessary measures to suppress any attempt at ‘Taiwan independence,'” he added.
You ignored criticism saying that “whenever we are invited somewhere, China always comments and they will always protest no matter where we travel”.
Czech Senate President Milos Vystrcil said his invitation for You was not a violation of the one-China policy. “On the contrary, that’s exactly what a free, democratic and sovereign country should do,” he told reporters.
Vystrcil angered China two years ago when he led a 90-member delegation of politicians, entrepreneurs, scientists and journalists to the island.
Last year, in turn, a 66-member delegation from Taiwan visited Slovakia, the Czech Republic and Lithuania in a bid to boost trade ties with the region.
During her visit to the Czech Republic, You visited the central Vysocina region where Vystrcil was born and also met with Lower House Speaker Marketa Pekarova Adamova.
He will then travel to Lithuania, which angered Beijing by opening a de facto Taiwanese embassy in Vilnius last year.
Taiwan plans to open a cultural center in Prague next year, You’s delegation said.