Czech Republic intensifies relations with Taiwan angering China

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The Speaker of the Czech Lower House of Parliament, Markéta Pekarová Adamová, has pledged support for states that value human rights and liberal democracy, ahead of her upcoming visit to Taipei in March.

This move comes as the Czech Republic intensifies its relations with Taiwan, despite China's claims over the island as its own. President-elect Petr Pavel recently spoke with Taiwan President Tsai Ing-Wen, leading to a strong reaction from China.

Markéta Pekarová Adamová spoke with Taiwan's Foreign Minister Joseph Wu and stated that “supporting partners who respect human rights and the principles of liberal democracy is a priority in our parliamentary diplomacy.”

The speaker plans to visit Taiwan with a delegation of business leaders and representatives from educational and scientific institutions.

This shift towards a pro-Taiwan stance by Petr Pavel differs from President Miloš Zeman's stance, who favoured closer relations with Beijing. Although the Czech Republic does not have formal diplomatic ties with Taiwan, the government and legislature have been strengthening economic and cultural relations with the island.

While most nations avoid high-level public interactions with Taiwan and its president to avoid upsetting China, the world's second-largest economy, the Czech Republic’s new administration does not shy away from establishing friendlier ties with the island country.

Former Czech prime minister Mirek Topolánek also published a tweet on Tuesday, saying that “We believe Taiwan will never be China’s.” Which drew diplomatic condemnation from China.

In response to the condemnation Topolánek tweeted, “I condemn the condemnation of Chinese diplomacy. I am deeply concerned.” Adding, “How long are we going to play the imposed one-China game? Taiwan is not China, and let us hope it never will be. Just as South Korea is not North Korea and Ukraine is not Russia.”