Prague Mayor Zdeněk Hřib to join Czech Senate chair's delegation to Taiwan

The Prague Mayor will be among a 90-person delegation led by Czech Senate chairman Miloš Vystrčil to Taiwain later this month


Written by ČTK Published on 12.08.2020 09:02:15 (updated on 12.08.2020) Reading time: 2 minutes

Prague, Aug 11 (CTK) – Czech Senate chairman Miloš Vystrčil (Civic Democratic Party, ODS) will be accompanied by a 90-member delegation including eight senators during his trip to Taiwan, approved by the lower house organisational committee today.

Most of the delegation will be comprised of businesspeople.

Vystrčil told journalists that the widow of the late Senate chairman Jaroslav Kubera (ODS), who had planned the trip, Věra Kuberová, would also fly to Taiwan.

Vystrčil is scheduled to meet the president of Taiwan, the chairman of its parliament and some ministers.

Prague Mayor Zdeněk Hřib will also join the Taiwan delegation, the Mayor announced via Facebook.

Hřib will meet with representatives from Prague’s sister city, Taipei.

Vystrčil will not fly by a government plane, but by the aircraft of the Taiwanese airlines. He repeated today that he was motivated by practical reasons, connected with the coronavirus epidemic, not by any political pressure.

If the government squadron were to be used, the delegation would have to get off the plane for a stopover for several hours, due to which it would have to start quarantine in Taiwan, he added.

“The government squadron made no problems. We really had no solution but to use a commercial flight,” Vystrčil said.

Vystrčil will be visiting Taiwan in late August and early September. His planned trip has met with protests by China, which considers Taiwan its province, and has also been criticized by Czech President Miloš Zeman and government officials.

It was Kubera who had planned the visit before his sudden death in January.

Prime Minister Andrej Babiš (ANO) and Foreign Minister Tomáš Petříček (Social Democrats, CSSD) did not recommend the trip either.

Despite this, Vystrčil has decided to carry out the mission also for principled reasons and to defy the pressure of China that has threatened to retaliate.

He said there was still a pressure on cancelling the trip.

“I was told what I had known before, namely that Zeman disagrees with the journey. There is also an expression by the Embassy of China. It was somewhat more polite than that received by the late Kubera. However, I have not obtained any major document or vital appeal not to go, or else…,” Vystrčil said.

He said he could feel support on the other hand, which he highly esteemed.

“From this place, I would like to thank for the support. Also from the places that are very influential,” Vystrčil said.

“I think that you will learn this soon,” he replied when asked to elaborate.

The trip may be on the agenda of the Wednesday talks to be conducted by U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in the Senate.

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