Tue, Oct 15, 2019 - Page 14 News List

Beijing takes aim at Prague after ‘one-China’ dispute deepens
布拉格拒從「一個中國」 北京展開報復

Prague Mayor Zdenek Hrib, center, and his wife, third right, pose for a photo with Taiwanese participants of the Prague Pride on Aug. 11.
布拉格市長賀吉普(圖中左)與妻子(右)現身布拉格同志大遊行隊伍,與台灣民眾親切互動。攝於八月十一日。

Photo courtesy of the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office, Prague, Czech Republic
照片:駐捷克台北經濟文化代表處提供

China has criticized the leadership of Prague, intensifying a dispute after the Czech capital withdrew from a sister-city partnership with Beijing.

The conflict has been brewing since the upstart Pirate party took over the Prague mayor’s office and took issue with Beijing’s “one China” policy in regards to the sovereignty of Taiwan and Tibet.

The city council withdrew from the sister-city deal, signed on Oct. 7, 2016, with mayor Zdenek Hrib saying Prague took the action because Beijing rejected a Czech request to remove a clause from the agreement that states that Prague supports the “one-China” principle, which does not recognize Taiwan. The declaration isn’t appropriate for a pact between cities, as it is a matter of national policy, Hrib said.

Hrib said Prague wants to focus on cultural cooperation, not on politics.

China’s embassy reacted angrily, saying on Facebook that Prague’s leadership must change its attitude or “it will be their own interests that will be hurt.” The cancellation is “a breach of trust” hurting ties between the two countries, the embassy said, after sending a “serious protest” to the city’s administration.

The city magistrate’s policy toward China clashes with that of the Czech national leadership, with Czech President Milos Zeman an enthusiastic promoter of Chinese investment in Europe. The country’s Foreign Ministry, which recognizes the “one China” policy, said the national government wouldn’t get involved.

The dispute erupted last year when China banned several orchestras with “Prague” in their names from performing there after Hrib refused to expel a Taiwanese diplomat from a meeting he hosted.

The Czech capital has long been a bastion of support for Tibet, with late Czech president Vaclav Havel and other politicians hosting the exiled Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama, to Beijing’s disapproval.

TODAY’S WORDS
今日單字

1. sister city phr.

姐妹市 (jie3 mei4 shi4)

2. partnership n.

合作夥伴關係 (he2 zuo4 huo3 ban4 guan1 xi4)

3. “one China” policy phr.

「一個中國」政策 (yi2 ge5 zhong1 guo2 zheng4 ce4)

4. sovereignty n.

主權 (zhu3 quan2)

5. Tibet n.

西藏;圖博 (xi1 zang4; tu2 bo2)

6. embassy n.

大使館 (da4 shi2 guan3)

7. diplomat n.

外交官 (wai4 jiao1 guan1)

8. demonstration n.

示威遊行 (shi4 wei1 you2 xing2)


Hrib’s administration restored Havel’s practice of flying the Tibetan flag from Prague City Hall. The national government has taken a different stance, with police suppressing peaceful demonstrations during a visit of Chinese President Xi Jinping in 2016 and forcing people to remove Tibetan flags from their homes.

In a clear reference to past political liberalization mass-movements such as the 1968 Prague Spring, which was brutally repressed by Soviet troops, and the 1989 Velvet Revolution against then-Czechoslovakia’s communist regime, Michaela Krausova, head of the Pirate caucus at Prague City Council wrote in a tweet: “we must remind ourselves that conscience is not for sale.”

Speaking of his last visit to Taiwan in March, Hrib says that although 14 years had passed since he had last visited Taiwan, during which time both Taipei and Prague have changed considerably, the two cities’ unshakeable shared belief in freedom and democracy has never changed.

(Bloomberg with staff writer)

捷克首都布拉格解除與北京的姊妹市合作關係後,中國出言威脅布拉格市長,使爭端加劇。

自從新崛起的捷克海盜黨贏得布拉格市長選舉,並對北京有關台灣與西藏主權的「一個中國」政策提出質疑後,衝突便一直在醞釀。

布拉格市議會十月七日解除了二○一六年與北京簽署的姊妹市協議,市長茲德尼克‧賀吉普表示,這是因為中國拒絕刪除姐妹市協議中的「一個中國」條款,該條款聲明布拉格支持「一個中國」原則,也就是說,不承認台灣。賀吉普說,「一個中國」條款不適用城市與城市之間的協議,因為這屬於國家的政策。

賀吉普指出,布拉格希望把重點放在文化合作上,而不是政治。

中國大使館對此表示憤怒,在其臉書上表示,布拉格領導層應盡快改變態度,否則「到頭來損害的會是他們自己的利益」。中國大使館向布拉格市政府提出「嚴重抗議」,並說布拉格此舉是「違反信任」,傷害了中國與捷克共和國之間的關係。

布拉格市政府對中國的政策抵觸了捷克總統米洛斯‧澤曼的政策,澤曼熱衷推動中國對歐洲的投資。承認「一個中國」政策的捷克外交部表示,捷克中央政府不會介入此事。

去年在賀吉普所主持的一個會議中,他拒絕將與會的台灣外交官驅逐,中國因此便禁止了數個名稱中有「布拉格」的樂團到中國演出,此爭端於是爆發開來。

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