Taiwan visit shows Czech Republic can resist China retaliation

China's economic clout in European country dampened by failed promises

Nikkei Asian Review
Date: September 7, 2020
By: Cybil Chou,, Contributing writer

Czech Republic Senate President Milos Vystrcil, left, stands with Taiwan Foreign Minister Joseph Wu at a press conference in Taipei on Sept. 3.   © Getty Images

TAIPEI — The Czech Senate speaker's visit to Taiwan last week predictably angered China, but Milos Vystrcil's trip carried little economic risk for the central European nation even if Beijing retaliates as expected.

Vystrcil declared in a speech in Taipei that "I am Taiwanese." This led Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi to accuse him of "crossing a red line," saying he should "pay a high price for his shortsighted behavior."

"This may prove counterproductive for China," said Filip Sebok, an analyst at the Prague-based Association for International Affairs, a foreign policy think tank.

"It may definitely embolden similarly minded politicians to also consider moves on Taiwan," added Sebok, a member of MapInfluenCE, a research project focused on Chinese influence in central Europe. "Other countries might also try to increase the profile of their relationships with Taiwan, without abandoning the 'One China policy'."    [FULL  STORY]

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