Taiwan welcomes planned visit by Czech Senate president

Image taken from Miloš Vystrčil's Facebook page

TAIPEI (CNA) — Taiwan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) on Saturday said it welcomed a planned visit by the Czech Republic’s Senate President Miloš Vystrčil to the country.

Its response came following a recent report by Czech weekly magazine Reflex that cited Vystrčil’s firm decision to visit Taiwan, despite facing strong opposition from China.

Vystrčil is expected to hold a press event on June 9 to announce his upcoming trip this autumn, including details of his itinerary, the report said.

According to Reflex, the Czech official only became more determined to come and forge stronger ties with Taiwan after Beijing repeatedly threatened former Senate President Jaroslav Kubera with repercussions for Czech businesses if he visited Taiwan.

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. His family later also claimed that the letter contributed to his death.

On Saturday, MOFA deputy spokesperson Tsui Ching-lin (崔靜麟) said his ministry has extended on several occasions its welcome to Vystrčil, adding that the ministry will issue an official statement after the press event by the Senate president.

In the Czech Republic, the president of the Senate is the second-highest-ranking official after the head of state.