Taiwanese delegation in Prague to strengthen relations; China protests

PRAGUE (AP) — Taiwanese government ministers traveled to the Czech capital on Monday accompanied by dozens of representatives from business and research to boost trade and investment, a move that angered China.

National Development Minister Kung Ming-hsin leads a delegation of 66 officials representing business and research groups and organizations, including biotechnology, green energy, information technology, machinery and technology. tourism.

Taiwanese Foreign Minister Joseph Wu will visit later this week.

China protested, threatening unspecified retaliatory measures.

Taiwan is counting on these exchanges to counter China’s efforts to isolate the self-governing island that Beijing claims as its own territory, to be annexed by military force if it deems necessary.

The Czech Republic, like most countries, does not have formal diplomatic relations with Taiwan, but maintains strong informal contacts. Taiwanese high-tech companies are also important investors in the Czech Republic.

Ties between Prague and Taipei were strengthened by the trip to Taiwan last year by the speaker of the upper house of the Czech parliament, the Senate, Milos Vystrcil. He was accompanied by more than 80 government, business and academia officials, drawing heavy criticism from China.

Vystrcil and other senior Senate officials, as well as representatives of government enterprises and tourism agencies and business groups, are to meet with members of the Taiwanese delegation.

During the pandemic, Taiwan sent the Czech Republic materials to make quality face masks while the Czechs donated coronavirus vaccines to Taiwan.

The delegation is also visiting two other countries of the European Union, Slovakia and Lithuania.

Berta D. Wells