Czechia deputy foreign minister affirms support for Taiwan’s democracy

Taipei, Dec. 25 (CNA) The Czech Republic will do its utmost to support Taiwan’s democracy, the country’s Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Jiří Kozák told CNA in a recent interview.

Preserving peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait is necessary for regional and international prosperity, said Kozák, who postponed a planned trip to Taiwan in late November for personal reasons.

Russia’s aggression against Ukraine has shown that the politics of appeasement toward totalitarian regimes is a “trap and a dead end,” Kozák said.

“Our relationship with Taiwan is long-term and consistent,” Kozák noted, saying that “the Czech government mentions Taiwan in its Policy Statement as one of the priority democratic partners in the Indo-Pacific. This is also reflected in our recently approved national Strategy for Cooperation with the Indo-Pacific.”

Czechia is determined to deepen cooperation with Taiwan and achieve concrete and tangible results in many fields, such as semiconductors, e-mobility, space technologies, artificial intelligence, cyber security, and smart health care, to name a few, Kozák said.

“Direct flight connection between Taipei and Prague would be instrumental to this end,” he added.

Kozák said that trade, investment, research, and innovation had long been pillars of Czechia’s relationship and multifaceted cooperation with Taiwan.

“We have achieved some tangible results and identified several projects to be implemented in the future,” he emphasized.

Taiwan is the third biggest Asian investor in the Czech Republic. “And we hope for more,” Kozák added.

He also indicated that in early October, Prime Minister Petr Fiala made a rare visit to Taiwan’s pavilion at the 2022 MSV International Engineering Fair in Brno.

The prime minter’s visit to Taiwan’s pavilion demonstrates Czechia’s resolve to support especially business activities and overall economic cooperation and cooperation in research and innovations with Taiwanese partners, Kozák added.

When asked whether the Czech Republic was considering allowing the Republic of China, Taiwan’s de jure name, to use the word “Taiwan” in the name of its representative office in Prague, Kozák responded with a quote from Shakespeare’s “Romeo and Juliet”: “What’s in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet.”

“I don’t think their commitment and dedication to the Taiwanese-Czech relations would somehow change its nature if they called themselves something else,” he added, referring to name changing of the Taiwan de-facto embassy in the country.

Czechia has regularly been interacting with Taiwan at the level of deputy ministers for decades, according to Kozák.

“As for further visits, there are some already considered or even planned,” he said, noting that it is common sense that one cannot develop practical cooperation and foster links without regular contacts and visits.

(By Novia Huang and Evelyn Kao)



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