Czech parliament head confirms support to Taiwan in speech to MPs

Markéta Pekarová Adamová said the two countries have a common goal of defending freedom and democracy. Staff ČTK

Written by StaffČTK Published on 28.03.2023 10:10:00 (updated on 28.03.2023) Reading time: 2 minutes

Czechia stands and will stand with Taiwan, and the people of the two countries share their story, Czech lower house chairwoman Markéta Pekarová Adamová said in her speech today in Taiwan's parliament, warning against the loss of freedoms and democracy.

"We [Czechs], too, well know that many speak a lot about democracy, but in fact they feel comfortable with right the opposite of a free setup," Pekarová Adamová said.

Both in the past and now, many autocrats and dictators make attractive statements about freedom, but "they are incapable of doing without their crutches in the form of oppression, threats, and even violence," she said.

Shared history and common goals

She said that in both Czechia and Taiwan, freedom and democracy rose in the 1990s, thanks to which the people of the two countries won, after decades of dictatorship, a number of new opportunities and freedoms, and also higher responsibility for their life.

"If we ceased respecting these things, we would start losing them more quickly," Pekarová Adamová warned.

Photo of lower house speaker Markéta Pekarová Adamová with Joseph Wu, Minister of Foreign Affairs for Taiwan (photo: Twitter / @MOFA_Taiwan)
Photo of lower house speaker Markéta Pekarová Adamová with Joseph Wu, Minister of Foreign Affairs for Taiwan (photo: Twitter / @MOFA_Taiwan)

At the close of her speech, she once again expressed support for Taiwan. "Dear lawmaker colleagues, dear people of Taiwan, I guarantee you that we stand with you and will continue to stand with you. Under all circumstances. We are in the same boat together. Because you are with us, so we are with you," she told the Taiwanese legislators.

She said it is up to legislators to develop democracy and freedom in their respective countries.

After the Russian invasion of Ukraine, security and peace ceased to be a matter of course in Europe, she said, mentioning Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy's speech to Czech lawmakers.

"We are aware that the people of Ukraine are fighting also for our freedom, our safety," Pekarová Adamová told the Taiwanese parliament.

She arrived over the weekend in Taiwan together with a delegation of businesspeople and met Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen on Monday. China has sharply condemned Pekarová Adamová's trip to Taiwan.

A shift in policy toward China

The Czech Republic and Taiwan do not maintain official diplomatic relations, but have been cooperating in a number of areas. Czech Senate chairman Miloš Vystrčil paid a visit to Taiwan in 2020.

Under previous Czech President Miloš Zeman, Czechia fostered strong ties with China, which claims that it has the right to rule over Taiwan under the One China policy. New Czech President Petr Pavel has turned toward supporting Taiwan. He called Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen shortly after winning the election in a move that angered China.

Business ties are starting to strengthen between the two countries. Taiwan Capital, an investment firm owned by the Taiwanese government, has started investing hundreds of millions of crowns in Czech startup companies, news site E15 reported.

During the pandemic, Taiwan donated ventilators and other equipment to Czechia. On the cultural side, Taiwn gave a pair of pangolins to Prague Zoo last year, and the pair just had a baby that is now named Šiška.

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