Voice Of America
Date: September 04, 2020
By: Henry Ridgwell
LONDON – A bitter dispute between China and the Czech Republic threatens to affect relations between Europe and Beijing.
A delegation from the Czech Senate has visited Taiwan, which China claims as part of its territory. A strongly worded threat from Beijing against the head of the delegation prompted criticism from European Union leaders.
The dispute comes as Europe has hardened its language toward Beijing on a range of disagreements in recent months, from the crackdown on pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong to China’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic.
Speaking Tuesday in the Taiwanese parliament, the president of the Czech Senate, Milos Vystrcil, called for democracies to safeguard their way of life. In Czech and Mandarin, he said, “I am Taiwanese,” echoing the famous speech by John F. Kennedy on a visit to divided Berlin in 1963. Vystrcil’s address drew a standing ovation from Czech lawmakers. [FULL STORY]