Taiwanese delegation in Prague to strengthen ties; China protests

Taiwanese government ministers visited the Czech capital on Monday along with dozens of business and research representatives to boost trade and investment, a move that angered China.

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

Taiwanese Foreign Minister Joseph Wu will visit later this week.

China protested, threatening to take unspecified retaliatory measures.

Taiwan is relying on such exchanges to counter China’s efforts to isolate the autonomous island that Beijing claims as its own territory, to be annexed by military force if it deems it 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 major investors in the Czech Republic.

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

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

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

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

Berta D. Wells