A 90-member delegation led by Czech Senate President Milos Vystrcil is to arrive in Taiwan on Sunday and Vystrcil is to attend an economic forum hosted by the American Institute in Taiwan (AIT) next week, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) said yesterday.
It would be the highest-level visit by a delegation from Prague since it embraced democracy in 1989, Department of European Affairs Director-General Johnson Chiang (姜森) told a news briefing in Taipei.
The delegation would further boost parliamentary and trade ties between Taiwan and the Czech Republic, based on the shared values of freedom, democracy and human rights, Chiang said.
Vera Kuberova, the widow of former Czech Senate president Jaroslav Kubera, had planned to join the delegation, but she canceled a few days ago due to health reasons, he said.
Kubera had planned to visit Taiwan in February, but he died of a heart attack on Jan. 20.
In addition to Vystrcil, the group is to include Czech Senate Vice President Jiri Ruzicka; Senate Committee on Foreign Affairs, Defense and Security Chairman Pavel Fischer; Senate Committee on Health and Social Policy Chairman Lumir Kantor; and senators Petr Silar, Lumir Aschenbrenner, Tomas Golan and Pavel Stohl, Chiang said.
Nearly 40 Czech business representatives are to be part of the delegation, he added.
Prague Mayor Zdenek Hrib and representatives from the Czech Academy of Sciences, Prague Philharmonia and Czech universities are also to join the trip, he said.
Many of them have had unpleasant experiences in their interactions with Beijing, Chiang said.
They are to stay in Taiwan until Friday next week, and are to meet with President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文), Legislative Speaker You Si-kun (游錫堃), Premier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌), Minister of Foreign Affairs Joseph Wu (吳釗燮), Minister of Science and Technology Wu Tsung-tsong (吳政忠) and Minister of Culture Lee Yung-te (李永得), he said.
Vystrcil is to give speeches on democracy and trade at the Legislative Yuan and National Chengchi University, attend a Taiwan-Czech forum on trade and another on supply chains hosted by the AIT on the last day of the group’s visit, he said.
The visitors will attend other events in smaller groups, Chiang said.
They will also visit the Taiwan External Trade Development Council, the Industrial Technology Research Institute and the National Space Organization, sources familiar with the matter said.
Hrib is to meet with Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je (柯文哲), as the two cities have signed a sister-city agreement, Chiang said.
The government is hoping to promote direct flights between Taipei and Prague, given the increasing number of Taiwanese visitors to the city, he said.
The delegation is to undergo three COVID-19 tests for the trip — more rigorous than the US and Japanese delegations that visited Taiwan earlier this month, MOFA said.
They are required to present a negative virus test before boarding a chartered flight and receive a second test upon arrival in Taiwan and a third test during their visit, it said.
MOFA said it is to work with the Central Epidemic Command Center to ensure the visitors are transported and accommodated in compliance with proper disease prevention measures.
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