The mayors of Prague and Taipei announced new areas of cooperation for the two sister cities, including orchestra tours, on Friday as a Czech delegation concluded a weeklong visit to Taiwan that was once bitterly criticised by China.
Taipei also donated 100,800 face masks and will share its experiences in controlling the coronavirus, Mayor Ko Wen-je said.
The head of the 80-plus member delegation, Czech Senate leader Milos Vystrcil, is the highest-ranking Czech official to visit the democratically ruled island since 1989, according to Taiwan Foreign Minister Joseph Wu.
Since the delegation’s arrival on Sunday, it has met with Taiwanese counterparts to develop cooperation in a range of areas including business, cybersecurity and the coronavirus pandemic. Vystrcil also met with Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen.
Wu said Taiwan is having a look into starting direct flights between Taipei and Prague the usage of its flagship airline, China Airlines.
Vystrcil has faced strong anger from China, which issued more than one warnings over the week approximately the visit, in addition to criticism from the pro-China Czech president.
China considers Taiwan to be a part of its territory and objects to any official contacts between other countries and the island.
Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi warned on Monday that China will “definitely cause them to pay a heavy price” for the visit, which Beijing sees as enhance for Taiwanese independence.
All through the visit, Vystrcil and others have emphasized the shared democratic values of Taiwan and the Czech Republic.
Relations have soured between a part of the Czech government and China prior to now year.
Prague canceled a sister cities agreement with Beijing final year after the Chinese side insisted on adding a clause to the deal stating that Prague supports the “one-China precept,” which says Taiwan is a part of China.
In reaction to Prague’s decision to signal a new sister cities’ agreement with Taipei, China canceled the tours of several Prague classical music ensembles and orchestras.
A part of the dispute is over business.
“There were a large number of promises of China investment kind of around the year 2013, 2014. On the other hand, all those promises turned out to not be fulfilled,” Prague Mayor Zdenek Hrib said Friday.