The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA, 外交部) responded on Sunday to netizens questions regarding the absence of the Taiwan flag on Czech Senate Speaker Miloš Vystrčil’s face mask on Sunday, claiming that Vystrčil’s mask was actually a donation from Taiwan and represents the friendly ties between the two nations.
Having earlier accepted an invitation from the president of the Legislative Yuan, You Si-kun, a delegation from the Czech Republic, headed by Vystrčil, arrived in Taiwan on Sunday.
While most members of the team wore face masks decorated with Czech and Taiwan’s flags, Vystrčil was sported a face mask featuring a Czech flag only, leading many to speculate the reason behind the exclusion of the Taiwan flag.
To this, the MOFA released a statement later that day explaining that the participants in the Czech delegation received specially-designed Taiwan-Czech badges to represent the goodwill between the two regions.
In this regard, Vystrčil especially pointed out Taiwan’s generosity during the worst times of the pandemic in April; therefore, the Czech flag was printed on his MIT face mask to express his thanks, MOFA added.
MOFA also said that as the face masks worn by the rest of the delegation were provided by Taiwan, both country’s flags were printed on them.
Chinese-language media also reported that Vystrčil explained via his translator that the face mask he wore was a donation from the Taiwanese government.