After the head of the Czech Senate said “I am a Taiwanese” in his speech at the parliament of Taiwan on Tuesday (September 1), echoing the late US President John F. Kennedy’s speech defying communism in West Berlin in 1963, China criticized he is fierce for crossing the red line.
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Having always considered Taiwan part of its territory, Beijing has threatened to cost Czech Senate President Milos Vystrcil a “heavy price” for his visit to the island nation. Like most countries, the Czech Republic does not have formal diplomatic relations with Taiwan.
In his speech, Mr. Vystrcil directly mentioned the sentence “Ich bin ein Berliner” (I am a Berliner) of the late President Kennedy and emphasized the democratic freedoms achieved after the Czech Republic abandoned communism at the end of the Cold War and Taiwan escaped martial law in the late 1980s.
Mr. Vystrcil said: “In 1963, US President JF Kenedy, in his famous speech ‘I am a Berliner’, strongly opposed Communism and political oppression and supported the people of West Berlin. He said ‘Freedom is inviolable, and when people are enslaved, they will not have any freedom at all.’
“Please let me personally express my support for Taiwan and the ultimate value of freedom and conclude today… with a more humble but equally powerful statement: ‘I am is a ‘Taiwanese’. “ Mr. Vystrcil finished and everyone stood up and cheered. He said the last sentence in Mandarin Chinese.
Vystrcil said the visit to Taiwan emphasizes the “value-based” foreign policy founded by the late President Vaclav Havel. Mr. Havel was an anti-communist and a close friend of the exiled Tibetan leader, His Holiness the Dalai Lama.
Speaking in Berlin after a meeting with German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas, the Chinese government’s top diplomat – Mr. Wang Yi strongly opposed Vystrcil.
Mr. Vuong said: “If he wanted to visit Taiwan to prove it was an independent nation, would this be a public humiliation, a public challenge? That’s why we had to speak up and we told the president of the Czech Senate that ‘You have crossed the red line’. “
German Foreign Minister Mass said he had contacted his Czech colleague about the trip of the president of the Czech Senate.
“Europeans cooperate on foreign and security policy very closely with each other and we treat our international partners with respect … Threats are not part of that,” Mr. Maas said during a brief press conference in Berlin on Tuesday (September 1) after talks with Mr. Vuong.
A spokesman for the French Foreign Ministry in a statement on September 1 also said: “The relationship between Europe and China must be based on dialogue, reciprocity and mutual respect, which are essential prerequisites for strengthening our partnership. In this respect it is unacceptable to pose any threat to an EU member state and we show our solidarity with the Czech Republic. ”
Slovakia President Zuzana Caputová said in a message on Twitter that Slovakia “Sided with the Czech Republic. EU-China relations are based on dialogue and mutual respect. Directly threatening an EU member state and its representative is contrary to the nature of our partnership and is unacceptable. “
Czech visit to Taiwan has been supported by 70 MPs of parliament around the world, including MPs of the EU Parliament, USA, Germany, France, Canada, Australia, UK, Lithuania, Slovakia, and Estonia.
The MPs have condemned the Chinese regime’s pressure on Mr. Vystrcil to try to prevent him from visiting Taiwan.
The MPs said in a joint statement: “The Czech Republic has the right to develop economic and cultural cooperation with Taiwan and Senate President Vystrcil, the second highest constitutional representative of the Czech Republic without the approval of the People’s Republic of China. Flowers to visit Taiwan. ”
US Senator Marco Rubio (Republican Party, Florida), and two US Senators Mike Gallagher (Republican Party, Wisconsin) and Ted Yoho (Republican Party, Florida) also signed the declaration. this.
> The president of the Czech Senate says ‘I am Taiwanese’
Although the Czech government did not support Mr. Vystrcil’s trip, they were furious at China’s strong condemnation and summoned the Chinese Ambassador to protest. In response, Beijing also summoned the Czech ambassador to blame.
The Prague international radio station reports Czech Foreign Minister Tomas Petříček told his Chinese counterpart that the Czech Republic is a sovereign state.
He Petříček said: “We strongly reject the claims that do not belong to the relationship between the two sovereign states. Although I do not support such a visit, I will always defend the sovereignty of the Czech Republic, ” according to Prague International Radio.
The strongest response from the Czech side probably came from Mr. Pavel Novotny, the head of Reporyje district in Prague.
Novotny wrote a letter on August 31 in response to a threat from Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi.
Specifically, Mr. Novotny requested an immediate apology for Wang Yi’s threats to the leader of the Czech Senate.
“His behavior [Vương Nghị] fundamentally transcended the boundaries of what was diplomatically acceptable. How dare you threaten the President of the Senate with the phrase “pay a high price”, rude clowns have no qualifications! ” he writes.
“We will pay a heavy price for your bullying and you definitely won’t like it.
Don’t teach us with that kind of hegemony and I warn you that we will respond in the way China treats us. We will respond even if China invests 14 times more than our Taiwanese friend. I also noticed to him that, in fact, Taiwan is investing in the Czech 14 times the amount that China invests in this country. “
At the end of the letter, Mr. Novotny appealed to Mr. Vuong Nghi “Wake up” and warned that Mr. Vuong “Insults are not allowed” Czech people like that.
In another development, just days after Mr. Vystrcil’s famous statement “I am Taiwanese”, T-shirts with Mandarin Chinese (Pingyin) and Czech text appeared on a website. of the Czech Republic. The t-shirts are described as 100% cotton, available in white and black, and sell for 220 Czech koruna (about US $ 9.89).
Taiwan – Czech relations
Mr. Vystrcil arrived in Taiwan on August 30, leading a delegation of 89 people including business leaders, some senators, scientists, journalists and the mayor of Prague. Zdeněk Hřib.
During the visit, Mr. Vystrcil was present to witness the signing of three memorandums of understanding, in which the two countries will cooperate in areas such as artificial intelligence, internet of things, smart manufacturing and medicine.
The visit will be a continuation of the will of former Czech Senator Jaroslav Kubera, a longtime supporter of Taiwan who passed away from a heart attack in January.
After his death, a letter from the Chinese Embassy in Prague was found in his suitcase. The letter warned that if Mr. Kubera made plans to visit the autonomous island of Taiwan, Czech companies operating in China would have to “pay the price”.
The letter threatened that Czech companies operating in mainland China, such as Skoda Auto, a subsidiary of Volkswagen, loan company Home Credit Group, as well as others, would suffer the consequences if he Kubera visited Taiwan.
Mr. Vystrcil criticized the Czech government’s over-reliance on the CCP and believed that Taiwan creates more investment and job opportunities in the Czech Republic than what the CCP offers.
Czech Republic ranks fourth for Taiwanese investments in Europe, according to data provided by Taiwan’s Ministry of Economy and CNA and Taiwan News news. Last year, Taiwan exported $ 454 million worth of goods to the Czech Republic and imported $ 365 million worth of Czech products, according to the source.
Since taking office in 2013, Czech President Milos Zeman wants to seek closer business and political ties than China, but his efforts have been criticized by failed investment plans.
Gia Huy (according to Epoch Times, Taiwan News)
See also: The Czech delegation visited Taiwan, sparking a war on Europe – China