Czech Senator Jiri Drahos yesterday said he hoped to facilitate the launch of direct flights between Taipei and Prague, as well as an exchange of exhibitions between Taiwan’s National Palace Museum and the National Museum in Prague.
“We love having Taiwanese tourists in our country and direct flights could bring the number higher above the pre-COVID-19 level, which is about 200,000 Taiwanese tourists each year. And it might have the same positive effect in enhancing mutual business cooperation,” Drahos said at a meeting with President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) at the Presidential Office in Taipei.
“I am a big admirer of your culture and cultural heritage. I have been to the National Palace Museum, which I consider to be one of the best in the world. It would be my great pleasure to facilitate mutual exchanges of exhibitions between the National Palace Museum and the National Museum in Prague. Czech people would be interested to see the richness and diversity of Taiwanese culture,” he added.
Drahos, chairman of the Czech Senate’s Committee on Education, Science, Culture, Human Rights and Petitions, arrived in Taiwan on Sunday with a delegation of Czech officials and academics.
Prior to being a senator, he was the president of the Czech Academy of Sciences from 2009 to 2017.
Taiwan and the Czech Republic are liberal democracies that value human rights and rights of minorities, Drahos said, adding that both shared similar experiences of dealing with non-democratic, hostile neighbors.
Taiwan has strongly condemned Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, and is selflessly helping Ukrainians by providing humanitarian aid and financial support, he said.
The Czech Republic is one of the key supporters of the Ukrainian defense against the wild and unprovoked attack from Russia, having accepted about 400,000 Ukrainian refugees, he said.
The financial support from Taiwan helps the integration of Ukrainian refugees — a majority of whom are women, children and elderly people — into Czech society, he added.
During the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, Taiwan also helped tremendously by sending medical supplies to Czech hospitals and donating mask production units to the Czech Republic, Drahos said.
“I am glad we had the chance to reciprocate this kindness by sending 30,000 doses of a COVID-19 vaccine to Taiwan when you needed them. I am glad that Taiwan has become our important partner, and the relationship has been strengthened even more under the current Czech government, which has stated that Taiwan is one of our key democratic partners in the Pacific area,” he said, adding that the Czech Republic is the only nation in the EU that has such a strong position.
The main objective of the visit to Taiwan this time was to strengthen cooperation between the two countries in the research and development of semiconductors, with the delegation visiting Hsinchu Science Park, he said.
Taiwanese universities are offering fellowships to Czech graduate students enrolling in semiconductor programs, Drahos said, adding that Taiwan is willing to build semiconductor research and development centers in his country.
“Taiwan is a leader in the design and manufacturing of smart chips, and we are glad that you are ready to share your know-how with us,” he said.
The Czech Republic supports Taiwan’s efforts to gain meaningful participation in the WHO and the International Civil Aviation Organization, he said, adding that the Czech Senate has adopted a resolution supporting Taiwan’s participation in the WHO.
Tsai said the delegation’s visit, which is taking place soon after Chinese military exercises in the area, shows the unwavering friendship that comes from like-minded countries supporting each other.
“Facing the expansion of authoritarianism, we hope that our countries continue to look out for each other and safeguard freedom and democracy together. Let us be the force for good to the world, and contribute even more to prosperity and development worldwide,” she said.
HIGH STAKES: An attack on Taiwan could prompt a joint response from the US and Japan, and trigger a global conflict that could bring down the CCP, Liu Tai-ying said The Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) would not be able to launch an invasion of Taiwan for at least another 10 years, Taiwan Research Institute founder Liu Tai-ying (劉泰英) said on Friday. To occupy Taiwan, China needs to transport at least 300,000 to 400,000 troops across the Taiwan Strait during battle, but it would lack the ability to do so for at least another decade, said Liu, a former Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) treasurer and a close aide to former president Lee Teng-hui (李登輝). The challenges that China would face during an attempted invasion of Taiwan would be even greater than those
CHINA CRITIC: Prime ministerial candidate Giorgia Meloni, the front-runner in today’s election, said that she would not renew a Belt and Road Initiative deal with Beijing Italian lawmaker Giorgia Meloni, the front-runner to become the country’s next prime minister, is expected to reverse course on Italy’s support for China’s Belt and Road Initiative and strengthen ties with Taiwan if a coalition headed by her party wins the country’s general election today. “Without any doubt, if there is a center-right government, it is sure that Taiwan will be an essential concern for Italy,” Meloni told the Central News Agency in an interview. Italians are to vote in a snap election triggered by the resignation of Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi following a failed attempt to get his coalition partners
HAWAII MODEL: While Hawaii held a referendum on becoming the 50th US state, Taiwan has never applied to join the People’s Republic of China, Miles Yu said China comparing Taiwanese independence to Hawaii seeking independence from the US is illogical, as Taiwan has never applied to be a part of the People’s Republic of China (PRC), Hudson Institute senior fellow Miles Yu (余茂春) said over the weekend. Chinese Minister of Foreign Affairs Wang Yi (王毅), who is in New York for the UN General Assembly, has given multiple talks asserting Chinese sovereignty over Taiwan. In a speech to the Asia Society on Thursday, Wang likened Taiwan to Hawaii. “Just as the US would not allow Hawaii to break away,” Beijing “reserves the right” to seek unification, Wang told the gathering. The
Taiwanese on average first use pornographic material at the age of 14, an international survey found on Wednesday. Researchers at National Cheng Kung University, who conducted the survey in the nation, said 50.2 percent of Taiwanese respondents said they used pornographic material two to three times per month over the past year. Lin Chung-ying (林宗瑩), an associate professor at the university’s Institute of Allied Health Sciences, said the results indicate that Taiwanese are less sexually active than people in other countries, especially in the West. Taiwanese on average masturbate 10 percent less often than respondents from other nations in the survey, Lin said. The