Prague mayor to strengthen sister city ties with Taipei


BERLIN (CNA) — Prague Mayor Zdeněk Hřib, who is set to visit Taiwan as part of a delegation led by Czech Senate President Miloš Vystrčil next week, said on Wednesday that the top priority of his trip will be strengthening the sister city ties between Prague and Taipei.

In an interview with CNA, Hřib said he is honored to be returning to Taiwan, as it will offer him a chance to build on the results of his first visit as mayor in March last year, and to repay a previous visit to the Czech capital by Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je (柯文哲).

On the topic of Prague’s sister city agreement with Taipei, Hřib said the cities share values such as freedom, democracy and sustainable development, and have the potential for close cooperation on both economic and cultural matters.

In that regard, he said, his top priority on the trip is to strengthen bilateral relations and that he is looking forward to meeting with his counterparts in Taipei.

More broadly, Hřib said he thinks the Czech Republic could learn from Taiwan’s success in the high-tech sector, and expressed hope that the delegation’s visit will lead to more bilateral exchanges in areas such as artificial intelligence and sustainable development.

He also thanked Taipei for its donation of medical equipment to Prague earlier this year.

Hřib will be part of a 90-member Czech delegation led by Vystrčil and comprising representatives from the country’s political, business and scientific sectors, which will visit Taiwan from Aug. 30-Sept. 4.

The 39-year-old Prague mayor is known for his support of Taiwan.

The establishment of sister city ties with Taipei in January came three months after Prague terminated its sister city agreement with Beijing due to a dispute over a “one-China policy” clause that in effect required Prague to recognize Taiwan as part of China.