Czech Republic Sends Large Delegation to Taiwan to Boost Cooperation

Czech Republic Sends Large Delegation to Taiwan to Boost Cooperation
Taiwan's President Tsai Ing-wen speaks during a press conference at the presidential office in Taipei, Taiwan, on Dec. 27, 2022. (Sam Yeh/AFP via Getty Images)
Aldgra Fredly
3/27/2023
Updated:
3/30/2023
0:00

The Czech Republic sent a 150-member delegation to Taiwan on March 25 with the goal of expanding cooperation while expressing support for Taiwan’s democratic system.

The Czech delegation, its largest to ever visit the self-ruled island, was led by Marketa Pekarova Adamova, speaker of Parliament’s lower chamber, who referred to Taiwan as a “close partner” of the European nation.

The two countries share the same values and principles, “the most important of which are freedom, democracy, and human rights, ensuring that we resist other external pressures,” Adamova said during her meeting with Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen on March 27.

Adamova reaffirmed her government’s stance that maintaining peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait is in the interest of all democracies in the international community, as well as global security, according to Tsai’s office.

She also voiced support for Taiwan’s efforts to participate in major international organizations, such as the World Health Organization (WHO) and the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO).

Tsai noted that the Czech delegation had visited Taiwan “under strong pressure,” alluding to Beijing’s criticism of the visit. She believes that the two nations can expand cooperation in economy, trade, science and technology, culture, and regional security.

“Taiwan and the Czech Republic have both experienced authoritarian rule and deeply understand that democracy has not come easily, so we can become firm partners with each other on the road of upholding democracy and freedom,” she said.

The Czech Republic doesn’t have official ties with Taiwan. Most countries have avoided high-level public interactions with Taiwan and its president to avoid provoking Beijing.

Newly elected Czech President Petr Pavel was sharply criticized by Beijing in January for taking a call from Tsai, a clear shift from his predecessor’s attempts to win Chinese business.

Honduras Severed Ties With Taiwan

The Czech delegation’s meeting with Tsai came on the heels of Honduras’s decision to sever ties with Taiwan in favor of diplomatic relations with China.

Tsai is due to depart on a sensitive visit to the United States, Guatemala, and Belize on March 29. She’s expected to meet with U.S. House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) in Los Angeles at the end of the trip.

Taiwan Foreign Minister Joseph Wu said he’s “highly suspicious” of the timing of the Honduran decision.

“China seems to be doing this intentionally,” Wu told reporters in Taipei.

Tsai said in a video statement that Taiwan wouldn’t compete with China in “meaningless” dollar diplomacy.

“Taiwan’s people have proved to the world that we never cower from threats. Taiwan’s cooperation and links with allies and like-minded countries to jointly promote international well-being and security will only increase, not decrease,” she said.

The United States has been watching with concern as China’s communist regime expands its footprint in its backyard by luring away Taiwan’s Central American allies and has repeatedly warned countries not to believe Beijing’s promises of aid.

The U.S. State Department stated that while the Honduran action is a sovereign decision, it’s important to note that the Beijing regime “often makes promises in exchange for diplomatic recognition that ultimately remain unfulfilled.”

“Regardless of Honduras’ decision, the United States will continue to deepen and expand our engagement with Taiwan,” it said in a statement.

Taiwan now only has formal diplomatic relations with 13 countries—mainly developing countries in Central America, the Caribbean, and the Pacific.

Epoch Newsroom and Reuters contributed to this report.
Aldgra Fredly is a freelance writer covering U.S. and Asia Pacific news for The Epoch Times.
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