Tensions between China and the Czech Republic
The president of the Czech Senate Miloš Vystrčil has drawn the ire of China with a visit to Taiwan. He is an "enemy of the 1.4 billion Chinese citizens" and will pay "a high price" for his behaviour, Beijing threatened. Commentators at home and abroad, however, applaud Vystrčil's initiative and hope others will follow suit.
The kind of politician we really need
Aktuálně.cz praises the courage of the president of the Czech Senate, who visited Taiwan against the will of President Miloš Zeman:
“Zeman did not find it in himself to support Vystrčil against China's threats. He has remained silent. His spokesperson lamented that since the end of Václav Havel's era [who was critical of China] the Czech Republic has pursued a policy of improving ties with foreign partners, and that now it is the only country in Europe that is taking the path of confrontation. ... Let us be grateful that there are politicians like Vystrčil. They need support. The Senate president has received such support from Germany, France and Slovakian President Zuzana Čaputová. But not from our president.”
Book tickets to Taipei!
In a guest commentary for Alfa, journalist Edward Lucas hopes that other countries will follow the Czech example:
“Lawmakers and public figures in other freedom-loving countries (Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Slovakia, Sweden and Ukraine spring to mind) should start booking tickets to Taipei and urge their governments to open offices there. The cost would be negligible and the potential impact huge. Once it becomes commonplace to visit Taiwan to negotiate not only on trade, investment and health, but also on security policy, the bullies in Beijing will have nowhere to go. They can punish individual countries, but not all of them at once.”