China cancels Prague orchestra tour amid Taiwan row with mayor

The Telegraph
Date: 19 JULY 2019
By: Nicola Smith, asia correspondent

The Prague mayor has clashed with China over Taiwan and Tibet CREDIT: OLEG NIKISHIN/GETTY IMAGES

AChina tour by Prague’s Philharmonic Orchestra has been cancelled and the city zoo’s long-held dreams of hosting a panda shattered in an escalating feud between a maverick Czech mayor and Beijing. 

China is furious at Zdenek Hřib, 38, the city’s anti-establishment mayor, for refusing to toe Beijing’s line over its sensitivities about the status of Taiwan and Tibet.

Since his election less than a year ago, Mr Hřib, a Czech Pirate Party politician, has flown the Tibetan flag at the capital’s city hall, met with Tsai Ing-wen, the Taiwanese president, and resisted Chinese demands to expel Taiwan’s representative from a meeting of foreign diplomats.

Mr Hřib, a doctor who did a medical training internship in Taiwan, has also openly demanded that China remove a clause from a Prague-Beijing cooperation that requires the Czech capital to "respect the one-China policy and acknowledge Taiwan as an inseparable part of Chinese territory".

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