No confirmation of Czech Senate president’s visit to Taiwan: MOFA

Czech Senate President Miloš Vystrčil (Image taken from Vystrčil's Twitter account)

TAIPEI (CNA) — There is no confirmation yet as to whether Czech Senate President Miloš Vystrčil, the number two government official in that country, will visit Taiwan, according to an official in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA).

“The COVID-19 outbreak is worsening in Europe. High-level officials in the Czech Republic might make adjustments to their foreign visits in the short to medium-term,” Kendra Yungshoa Chen (陳詠韶), Deputy Director-General of MOFA’s Department of European Affairs, said at a regular press conference.

She was asked by reporters whether Czech Senate President Miloš Vystrčil will visit Taiwan soon.

Chen said Vystrčil assumed his new post on Feb. 19 and is still arranging his foreign trips.

MOFA will closely follow developments regarding the foreign visits of Czech officials, particularly those involving Taiwan, and continue to invite Taiwan-friendly legislators and officials from that country to visit, Chen said.

The former Czech Republic Senate President Jaroslav Kubera was supposed to visit Taiwan in February, but passed away on Jan 20.

The possible visit of Vystrčil to Taiwan became news after it was reported in February that China’s embassy in the Czech Republic wrote to the presidential office on Jan. 10, threatening to sanction Czech business enterprises operating in China if Kubera visited Taiwan.

China’s threat angered the Czech government. Vystrčil has proposed demanding that Beijing replace its ambassador to the country.

On Wednesday, Czech Republic top officials, including the president, cabinet members and legislative leaders, issued a joint statement condemning China’s actions and emphasizing the country’s independent foreign policy.

The joint statement also said the Czech Republic intends to continue cooperating with Taiwan in the fields of economics and culture without violating the “one China” policy.

However, the statement did not mention whether Vystrčil will visit Taiwan, or if the Czech government is still demanding the recall of the Chinese ambassador.