You say Prague ‘Mecca of democracy’

Hailing the Prague Spring of 1968 and the Velvet Revolution of 1989, the Speaker of the Legislative Assembly of Taiwan hailed the unyielding spirit of the Czech people

  • By Kayleigh Madjar / Editor, with CNA

Speaker of the Legislative Assembly You Si-kun (游錫堃) yesterday called the Czech Republic a “mecca of democracy” upon his arrival in Prague, where Czech Senate Speaker Milos Vystrcil welcomed the Taiwanese delegation visiting.

A cross-party delegation of lawmakers arrived at Prague’s Vaclav Havel Airport at 9 a.m. on a Turkish Airlines flight.

You and Vystrcil hugged when they saw each other for the first time since Vystrcil visited Taiwan in September 2020 leading an 89-member delegation.

Photo: AFP

Speaking at a press conference immediately after they met, You said he was “finally” heading to the Czech Republic as a pilgrim of sorts to the “mecca of democracy”.

Hailing the Prague Spring of 1968 and the Velvet Revolution of 1989 as movements that are still widely celebrated, You praised the unyielding spirit of the Czech people in their struggles for freedom.

The Taiwanese delegation is visiting in hopes of promoting friendship and parliamentary exchanges between the two nations, as well as deepening their cultural, technological and economic ties, You wrote on Facebook.

Another important goal is to thank Vystrcil for his visit in 2020, when he became the first parliamentary leader from a non-diplomatic ally to address the Legislative Yuan, he said.

“Vystrcil’s moving speech ‘I am Taiwanese’ not only deepened the friendship between our two nations, but also led Europe and the world to better understand Taiwan,” he added.

You and your fellow legislators Jang Chyi-lu (張其祿) of the People’s Party of Taiwan; Yosi Takun and Wan Mei-ling (萬美玲) of the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT); and Huang Shih-chieh (黃世杰) of the Democratic Progressive Party are in the Czech Republic until Thursday.

Later yesterday they were to pay tribute to the late Czech President Vaclav Havel by presenting bouquets at his grave.

The delegation is due to meet tomorrow with Vystrcil, three vice presidents of the Czech Senate and other Senate officials, the Czech Senate said.

After the meeting, they are to pay tribute to former Czech Senate President Jaroslav Kubera, who served from 2018 until his death in January 2020, a month before his scheduled visit to Taiwan.

You and Vystrcil are to hold a press conference tomorrow before the delegation leaves on Thursday.

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Berta D. Wells