Czech Senate President Milos Vystrcil yesterday said that he disliked a comment by Chinese Minister of Foreign Affairs Wang Yi (王毅) about the Czech delegation’s visit to Taiwan, adding that countries have their own ways of interpreting China’s “one China” principle.
Vystrcil made the remarks at a news conference at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Taipei, where he summed up the delegation’s accomplishments.
Pressed further about Wang’s remarks — who had said that Vystrcil “crossed the red line” by visiting Taiwan — he said he did not like the expression that Wang used, adding that the delegation had not contravened a Czech-China agreement.
Each country, including the Czech Republic and other EU members, has its own approach to the so-called “one China” principle, Vystrcil said.
Taiwan is a free and democratic country, while democratic countries always have the right to cooperate, he said, when asked if he would continue to support Taiwan.
The Czech Republic is willing to maintain relations with other countries based on the principle of equality and mutual benefit, including with China, he said.
The senate president was also asked if he and other senators would introduce bills friendly to Taiwan, such as the US’ Taiwan Relations Act, or upgrade the status of the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Prague by replacing “Taipei” with “Taiwan.”
Diplomatic policy is not determined by the Czech Senate, but by administrative agencies, Vystrcil said.
They could share their experiences with the administrative agencies, he said, while emphasizing that Prague Mayor Zdenek Hrib was part of their delegation.
In February, Vystrcil was elected senate president. His predecessor, Jaroslav Kubera, died of a heart attack in January before a scheduled visit to Taiwan. Chinese Ambassador to the Czech Republic Zhang Jianmin (張建敏) had threatened in a letter that China would retaliate against Czech businesses reliant on the Chinese market, including Skoda and Home Credit, if Kubera visited Taiwan.
Next month, the Czech Republic is to hold senate elections alongside local elections, with one-third of the 81-member Senate to be elected.
Vystrcil’s speech on Tuesday at the Legislative Yuan showed that the manners of a civilized country are as warm and gentle as spring sunlight, Legislative Speaker You Si-kun (游錫堃) said.
By contrast, Wang’s rude threat is like “cold wind,” unwelcome by other people, and has sparked criticism from Germany, France and other EU members, he said.
A Czech journalist asked Minister of Foreign Affairs Joseph Wu (吳釗燮) if the country is promoting independence by highlighting “Taiwan” on the cover of its passports and receiving foreign delegations with high-profile manners.
Taiwan is a sovereign country where people elect their own president and lawmakers, and hold their own passports, Wu said, adding that Taiwan does not belong to China or any other country.
“We are trying to maintain the ‘status quo,’” he said.
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