Czech Senators conclude visit to Taiwan

Czech Senate President Milos Vystrcil will today conclude a five-day visit to Taiwan aimed at boosting bilateral economic and technological

Czech Senate President Milos Vystrcil

Photo: AP Photo/Chiang Ying-ying

Czech Senate President Milos Vystrcil will today conclude a five-day visit to Taiwan aimed at boosting bilateral economic and technological ties.

While in Taiwan, Vystrcil delivered a speech in Taiwan’s parliament and met with President Tsai Ing-wen. He was accompanied on his trip by a delegation of 90 scientists, business leaders and fellow senators. Discussions with Taiwanese delegates included possibilities for collaborative research on artificial intelligence and modern waste processing technologies, among other potential business ventures.

Vystrcil’s trip has faced push back both domestically and from mainland China. Top Chinese diplomat Wang Yi stated that Vystrcil would pay a “heavy price” for his official visit to the island nation, while Czech President Milos Zeman expressed concerns regarding the visit’s potential to hurt the state’s economic ties with Beijing. Hundreds of thousands of Chinese tourists visit Czechia every year, and one Czech company—the PPF Group—is one of China’s top foreign lenders.

Nevertheless, Taiwan-Czech economic ties are ever-strengthening: Czechia hosts the European base of Taiwanese electronics manufacturing giant Foxconn, where the conglomerate is the second-largest exporter. With China’s popularity falling in Europe, particularly as more countries speak out against Chinese activity in areas including Hong Kong and the South China Sea, it is unlikely that China can effectively interfere with increased Taiwan-Czech collaboration going forward.

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