Prague Mayor Zdenek Hrib yesterday said that he would join a delegation led by Czech Senate President Milos Vystrcil on a visit to Taiwan at the end of this month.
The 90-member delegation is expected to include business, political and academic representatives.
Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, Taiwan has this week received two delegations: one led by former Japanese prime minister Yoshiro Mori and the other by US Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar.
However, the two delegations were much smaller than the Czech delegation.
“I appreciate cross-party cooperation when it comes to a common cause. Deepening alliances with our foreign partners is a good example of such cooperation. I am honored that the Senate President Milos Vystrcil invited me on his trip to Taiwan,” Hrib wrote in Czech on Facebook yesterday.
Hrib’s post included a photograph of him sitting next to a suitcase with two emblems featuring the flags of the Republic of China and the Czech Republic.
Hrib, of the Czech Pirate Party, became mayor in November 2018, and has taken a stand against pressure from Beijing.
After canceling a sister-city agreement with Beijing, Hrib in January signed a sister-city deal with Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) while Ko was visiting the Czech capital.
Taipei City Government spokeswoman Chen Chih-han (陳智菡) yesterday said that Ko welcomes the visit of Hrib and Vystrcil.
Whether the two mayors would meet is being discussed, she added.
On June 9, Vystrcil confirmed his visit to Taiwan, after the Czech Senate on May 20 passed a resolution supporting the plan by 50-1.
Before taking a chartered flight to Taiwan, the members of the delegation are to isolate themselves at home for 14 days and must test negative for COVID-19 twice, Vystrcil said in an interview with the Central News Agency last week.
Giving another push to the plan, Vystrcil wrote in Czech on Facebook on Tuesday that most of the delegation would consist of entrepreneurs and business entities, followed by representatives from the academic and scientific communities, as well as eight senators.
Former Czech Senate president Jaroslav Kubera planned visit to Taiwan in February, but he died of a heart attack on Jan. 20.
His wife and daughter have linked his death to the Chinese embassy in the Czech Republic pressuring him not to visit.
Additional reporting by CNA
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