Sunday, September 25, 2022

Cooperation With Taiwan

Last week, a memorandum of cooperation was signed in Taipei between Czechland and Taiwan.  This will increase the level of cooperation between the two countries in education, science, and culture.

Czechia wants to see direct flights between Prague airport and Taipei.  Recently, Czechland opened a development centre for research into semiconductors.

The national museum in Prague and the national museum in Taipei will now become sister institutions.

Cooperation between the two countries has been steadily growing.  Foxconn, a Taiwanese electronics manufacturer, runs a subsidiary company called Foxconn CZ, runs its largest European operations centre and EU hub, in Pardubice.  It is one of the most profitable companies in Czechia.  

In March 2020, the countries signed an official partnership to fight Covid-19.  During the Covid crisis, Taiwan provided Czechland with medical equipment.  

In 2021, Czechland supported Taiwan's bid to participate in the World Health Assembly.  

After the June 2021 tornado in South Moravia, Taiwan donated 6,5 million Kč (~$304K) to affected villages.

In August 2021, Czechland gave Taiwan 30.000 Moderna vaccines.

Obviously China isn't thrilled with this because it still considers Taiwan as part of China and views the Czech government as supporting Taiwanese independence.  Objections from Beijing aren't something new.

Back in January 2020, Prague mayor Zdeněk Hřib signed a sister city agreement with Taipei, just two months after cancelling the sister city agreement with Beijing.  It probably didn't hurt that Hřib is a doctor and did his medical internship training in Taiwan.

Unrelated to Taiwan, but another reason that I really like MUDr. Hřib is that in February 2020 he re-named the square in front of the Russian embassy to Náměstí Borise Němcova (Boris Nemcov Square) after the outspoken critic of Vladimir Putin who was assassinated in 2015.

In August 2020, RNDr. Miloš Vystrčil, the President of the Czech Senate, made headlines for  making an official trip to Taiwan.  This was a big deal because China's foreign minister Wang Yi, said that he would pay a "heavy price" for visiting Taiwan.  Not only did he not back down to China, he channeled U.S. President John F. Kennedy's 1963 speech and told Taiwanese lawmakers, in Mandarin Chinese, "I am Taiwanese."

©民視英語新聞 Formosa TV English News

I love that the Czech politicians stand up against authoritarian regimes.  Here's a short video I found on YouTube where Czech MEP Markéta Gregorová shares her thoughts on why the ties between the two countries are getting stronger.

©RTI English

Here's a video from May 2021, former Taiwanese Ambassador at Large Maysing Yang met with both Hřib and Vystrčil in Prague.

©民視英語新聞 Formosa TV English News

It's clear that Czechland and Taiwan maintain strong unofficial relations.  China won't have diplomatic relations with any country that officially recognises Taiwan as an independent country.  So there aren't any official embassies.  Instead, the Czech Republic is represented in Taipei by the Czech Economic and Cultural Office, 捷克經濟文化辦事處.  In Prague, Taiwan has the Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office.

In October, the Prague Philharmonic will travel to Taiwan.

©民視英語新聞 Formosa TV English News

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