China’s “bullying behavior” against the Czech Republic will earn no respect, but would generate aversion, Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) spokeswoman Joanne Ou (歐江安) said yesterday, referring to Beijing’s reaction after the European country sent a delegation to Taiwan last week.
The ministry expressed stern condemnation of China for abusing its political power to intervene in the free market, Ou told a news briefing in Taipei, adding that besides Czech politicians, Czech businesspeople have become a target of Beijing’s intimidation.
Ou referred to an incident in which a Beijing client abruptly canceled a 5.3 million korunas (US$237,154) order of pianos from Czech manufacturer Petrof on the grounds that the delegation’s visit had harmed the China-Czech relationship.
Photo: Ann Wang, Reuters
Freedom and democracy are necessary for a nation’s prosperity, so it is important not to rely on a non-democratic nation, she said, adding that “relying on China is tantamount to selling freedom.”
Ou’s remark echoed that of Czech Senate President Milos Vystrcil, who led the delegation, who on Sunday said that a democratic country like the Czech Republic has no reason to bow to Beijing.
Czech President Milos Zeman earlier called Vystrcil’s visit an act of childish provocation.
There is no need to overreact to China’s threats, as doing so would only fuel its fear-mongering behavior, Ou said.
The resilience Vystrcil demonstrated in the face of Chinese intimidation is the best way to safeguard democracy and freedom, she added.
Vystrcil’s 89-member delegation was in Taiwan from Aug. 30 to Friday last week to boost bilateral exchanges in areas including public health, science, trade and economics.
Czech Chamber of Deputies member Marek Benda, who has chaired the Czech Republic-Taiwan Friendship Group for nearly two decades, has also expressed interest in visiting Taiwan, possibly in spring next year, Czech daily Hospodarske Noviny reported.
The group originally planned to attend President Tsai Ing-wen’s (蔡英文) inauguration in May, but the trip did not take place due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Benda said.
Asked about Benda’s planned visit, Ou said that the ministry would release details at the proper time if there are concrete developments.
Separately, Kristin Shi-Kupfer, a Sinologist at the Mercator Institute for China Studies in Berlin, told Deutschlandfunk Kultur radio that the German government should follow the Czech Republic’s lead and send high-level officials to Taiwan.
Germany should support Taiwan amid Beijing’s increasing ambition to invade, Shi-Kupfer said, citing incursions by Chinese warplanes in Taiwan’s airspace this year and Chinese President Xi Jinping (習近平) not mentioning “peace” when talking about cross-strait unification in the past few years.
Germany can facilitate Taiwan’s participation in the WHO, before Berlin loses the presidency of the Council of the EU, she said.
European nations should take a leaf from Japan, which has deepened cooperation with Taiwan as it moves manufacturing out of China as part of its supply chain distribution efforts, she said.
Additional reporting by CNA
CLEAR BEFORE LEAVING: Two baby boys and a woman in her 30s tested negative before departing for Japan, but tests taken after their arrival came back postive Three Taiwanese tested positive for COVID-19 when they arrived in Japan earlier this month, the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) said yesterday as it reported a new imported case. Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), head of the center, said that one of the three cases in Japan is a Taiwanese baby under the age of one, whose parents work in Japan. The infant came to Taiwan with his parents in January, and the parents paid for the family’s COVID-19 tests on Oct. 10 ahead of their planned return to Japan on Monday last week, he said. The boy and his
‘BACKED BY ENEMY’: CTi News is one of the few channels promoting unification, the New Party chairman said, while pro-Taiwan groups called it a propaganda outlet Pan-blue camp supporters yesterday lodged a protest at the National Communications Commission (NCC) against what they say is a possible move by the government to shut down CTi News, adding that politics should not interfere with freedom of the press. Protesters included representatives from the New Party, the Blue Sky Action Alliance, the 333 Political Party Alliance and other pan-blue groups. “We stand here today because CTi News is one of the few media outlets in Taiwan that is still willing to give groups supporting unification with China a voice. If the news channel is gone, there would only be
NEW YEAR’S EVE: Examples from South Korea and Japan show that 15 local COVID-19 infections could emerge in a short period if measures are not taken The Taipei City Government would cancel its New Year’s Eve Party and all large events if 15 or more confirmed cases of COVID-19 are reported in the city within a week, Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) said yesterday. Addressing the Taipei Cross Border E-Commerce Annual Convention, Ko said the COVID-19 pandemic has brought many uncertainties to society, and that e-commerce is on a path of no return and would continue to grow. Many countries have not effectively controlled their COVID-19 outbreaks, and although Taiwan implements strict border controls and there have been few inbound passengers, the pandemic is unlikely to end soon,
The Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) yesterday accused CTi News of trying to mislead the public by publishing a half-page advert claiming that the party interfered in the National Communications Commission’s (NCC) review of its application for a license renewal. CTi News is distorting the commission’s review process by painting it as a political conflict and turning it into a smear campaign against the DPP, party spokeswoman Yen Juo-fang (顏若芳) said. “The NCC is an independent body, which carries out reviews and makes decisions based on its members’ professional expertise, as well as regulations and legal requirements governing media operations,” Yen said. “We condemn