Prague still caught between East and West as Taiwan furore exposes ideological split

Date:  01/09/2020
By: David Hutt

The Czech Senate President Milos Vystrcil gives a thumbs up to former President of the Senate Jaroslav Kubera after he delivered a speech in Taipei.   –   Copyright  AP Photos

If the Czech Republic’s relations with China had been fraying over the past 12 months, they have now hit a new low after Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi reacted furiously to a leading Czech politician’s visit to Taiwan.

Speaking during a state visit to Germany, Wang said that Czech Senate President Milos Vystrcil’s arrival in Taipei this week, the highest-level meeting between Czech and Taiwanese officials to date, is “an act of international treachery”.

He added that Beijing “won’t take a laissez-faire attitude or sit idly by, and will make [Vystrcil] pay a heavy price for his short-sighted behaviour and political opportunism".

Whether this escalates beyond accusatory words between Prague and Beijing is unclear at this stage, but it comes as the Czech Republic undergoes a profound questioning of its foreign policy interests.    [FULL  STORY]

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