Taiwan president warns of Chinese ambitions in Prague, China protests

Taiwanese Parliament Speaker You Si-kun delivers a speech during the launch ceremony of a new government-backed English-language online news platform, TaiwanPlus, in Taipei, Taiwan, August 30, 2021. REUTERS/Ann Wang/File Photo

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PRAGUE, July 20 (Reuters) – Taiwanese parliament speaker You Si-kun warned of China’s power ambitions in a speech to the Czech parliament on Thursday during a visit drawing rebuke from Beijing .

You said that Taiwan has more and more voices internationally, but authoritarianism is also on the rise.

“I would like to talk to all of our friends around the world with whom we are bound by democracy to carefully study and understand the nature of the Chinese communist regime and how to nip it in the bud,” You said in a speech to the Senate. , performed in English.

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“If we don’t, it could cause irreparable damage to humanity in the near future,” added the speaker, who belongs to Taiwan’s ruling Democratic Progressive Party.

The center-right government of the Czech Republic, a member of the European Union (EU) and the NATO military alliance, has chosen Taiwan among Asian democracies with which to forge closer relations.

Taiwan is a thriving democracy but China regards the island as its own territory and has never renounced the use of force to bring it under its control.

The Chinese Embassy in Prague condemned You’s visit, saying it violated China’s sovereignty and territorial integrity and undermined Czech-Chinese relations.

“The Chinese side calls on the Czech side to take China’s resolute stance seriously, maintain its political commitment to one China, stop sending bad signals to the forces fighting for the ‘independence of Taiwan,'” he said.

In early 2022, China suspended imports from another EU member, Lithuania, after Taiwan opened a de facto embassy in Vilnius.

Despite wrangling with some EU member states, China on Tuesday agreed to coordinate its economic policies with the EU, liberalize trade and investment and further open up its financial sector. But he was silent on an investment deal frozen by disputes over human rights, geopolitics and the war in Ukraine. Read more

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Reporting by Jan Lopatka; Editing by Andrew Cawthorne

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Berta D. Wells