Czech Senator Jiri Drahos is to lead a 14-member delegation on a six-day visit to Taiwan from tomorrow, a trip he said is aimed at boosting cooperation with Taiwan’s semiconductor industry.
Drahos, 73, a former head of the Czech Academy of Sciences who ran in the 2018 Czech presidential election as an independent and was narrowly defeated by incumbent Milos Zeman, is chairman of the Czech Senate’s Committee on Education, Science, Culture, Human Rights and Petitions.
The delegation is to comprise Czech Academy of Sciences president Eva Zazimalova; Michal Lukes, general director of the National Museum in Prague; Roman Hvezda, director of the ELI Beamlines facility, an international laser research center; and officials from the fields of education, and science and technology, as well as experts in epidemic prevention and information security.
Drahos said the administration of Czech Prime Minister Petr Fiala, who took office at the end of last year, paid special attention to democracy and human rights.
Drahos said that he was looking forward to strengthening cooperation with Taiwan in epidemic prevention, semiconductors, museums and other areas.
Cross-strait tensions have caused widespread concern in political circles in Europe that Taiwan might face an attack similar to the Russian invasion of Ukraine, he said.
Although European countries might not be able to supply arms to Taiwan, there was a consensus on furthering relations with Taiwan in the areas of soft power such as culture, research and academics to improve Taiwan’s international visibility, he added.
China should know that the “democratic world” stands with Taiwan, he said.
However, as Chinese leaders are “relatively pragmatic,” they would not wage a war against Taiwan, in contrast to Russian President Vladimir Putin, who ordered the invasion of Ukraine in February, bringing devastating consequences to himself and others, Drahos said.
Amid warming ties with Prague, the Ministry of Culture is planning to in January next year set up a cultural division in Taiwan’s representative office there, to promote exchanges between the two countries.
The National Museum in Prague would also explore the possibility of cooperating with Taiwanese counterparts during the upcoming trip, Drahos said.
Prague is looking forward to seeing Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co, the world’s largest contract chipmaker, invest in the Czech Republic, he said.
Drahos said he was looking to work with Taiwan to establish a cooperation platform on semiconductor research and development.
Drahos came to Taiwan for the first time in the 1990s when he attended an academic conference at National Taiwan University. Since then, he has regularly invited Taiwanese academics to attend conferences in Prague to promote exchanges between the two countries.
The Czech senator originally planned to visit Taiwan in October 2020, but postponed the trip amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
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