Czech supports Senate leader to visit Taiwan

CNA file photo

BERLIN (CNA) — The Senate of the Czech Republic passed a resolution on Wednesday that criticizes Chinese interference in in Czech’s internal affairs while supporting a possible visit by its new Senate leader to Taiwan.

The resolution, initiated by Pavel Fischer, chair of the Senate’s Committee on Foreign Affairs, Defense and Security, was passed in a 50-1 vote with one abstention.

The resolution blasts Beijing for having its embassy in Prague send a letter to former Senate President Jaroslav Kubera earlier this year threatening repercussions for Czech businesses if he visited Taiwan.

The resolution also shows the Senate’s support of a visit by incumbent Senate President Miloš Vystrčil to Taiwan in the company of Czech business representatives, as such a visit would be in the long-term interests of Czech diplomatically, according to the resolution.

A long-time supporter of Taiwan, Kubera passed away in January as he was preparing to make a trip to the country in February. Following his death, Czech media made public the Chinese embassy’s threat toward Kubera. Kubera’s family later also claimed that the letter contributed to his death.

In March, top Czech government officials, including its president, cabinet members and legislative leaders, issued a joint statement condemning China’s actions.

The 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 and its official diplomatic ties with Beijing.

Vystrčil has yet to make a final decision on whether to visit Taiwan, but he recently hinted that the more China issues threats, the more he is likely to do so.

According to Vystrčil, his office received phone calls from the Chinese embassy recently to warn him against congratulating President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) on her May 20 inauguration for a second term.

Asked to comment, Foreign Minister Joseph Wu (吳釗燮) said in Taipei that the ministry would more than welcome the Czech politician to visit the country.

Czech’s Senate president is the number two senior government official in the central European country.