Prague, Feb 19 (CTK) – Beijing has warned against the planned trip of the late Czech Senate chairman Jaroslav Kubera to Taiwan in a letter sent to the Presidential Office, the server Aktualne.cz wrote today.
In the letter, Beijing was threatening to punish both Kubera and the Czech firms running business in China if the visit took place, the server says.
The Presidential Office supported the Chinese letter with its own and gave both to Kubera at the New Year’s luncheon at Prague Castle in mid-January.
Reporting about the letter today, the Reuters agency cited Chinese Foreign Ministry as saying that it does not know where the information came from.
China’s warning has been criticised by the Foreign Ministry of Taiwan, Reuters wrote.
Kubera announced his intention to visit Taiwan last year, for which he was criticised by Chinese diplomacy and President Milos Zeman. Zeman said such a trip was not in the Czech Republic’s economic interest.
Kubera said on January 14, a week before his death, that the mission had no anti-Chinese character and would have no dramatic consequences for Czech relations with China, considering Taiwan its part.
Beijing called the planned trip a violation of the declaration of strategic partnership that Zeman signed during Chinese President Xi Jinping’s visit to Prague in 2016. The Chinese letter warned the Czech Presidential Office against the consequences of Kubera’s trip from the very first sentence.
Czech firms that have economic interests in China will have to pay dearly for chairman Kubera’s visit to Taiwan, the Chinese letter said, expressing hope that the Czech Republic would keep pursuing the One China policy and cancel the visit, and thereby preventing the harming of Chinese-Czech relations.
Czech-Chinese relations have been constantly developing in the past years, which has brought tangible advantages to Czech companies and China has already become the largest foreign market for many of them, such as Skoda Auto, Home Credit Group, the Petrof piano-maker and others, the Chinese letter wrote.
Beijing warned Kubera and members of his delegation that if they paid a visit to Taiwan, they could forget of ever visiting mainland China, the server writes.
Belgian Senate chairman Jacques Brotchi, who visited Taiwan in May 2019, has already resigned from his post and he was banned from entering China for life, the letter warned.
However, the server reminds that Brotchi’s mandate simply expired last May, after the elections.
In a fax reacting to Reuters’ question, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Joanne Ou said “I want to emphasise that China resolutely opposes a country that has established diplomatic relations with China having official exchanges with Taiwan authorities in any form. This stance has been consistent and clear.”
The Foreign Ministry in Taiwan, on its part, wrote, cited by Reuters, that “China’s business pressure on the Czech Republic proves that ‘one belt one road’ is a predatory policy tool, bringing only counter-effects to the global business order.”
Aktualne.cz writes that Kubera received the Chinese letter at Prague Castle along with that written by Presidential Office foreign section head Rudolf Jindrak.
“The trip of Senate chairman J. Kubera is at present highly unsuitable. Czech-Chinese relations are expected to be frozen for long as a consequence of the trip both on the political and economic level as it happened in 2009,” the server cites Jindrak’s stance.
He hinted at then Czech prime minister Jan Fischer’s reception of the Tibetan Dalai Lama in Prague in 2009.
In reaction to Aktualne.cz’s question, Jindra expressed surprise at the server having the letter at its disposal.
“This is an internal communication. Neither I nor any of my subordinates released the letter. I did not give it to anyone outside the office,” Jindrak told the server. However, he admitted that he had discussed the matter with Kubera.
With respect to the One China policy, the Czech Republic does not officially recognise Taiwan as an independent state.
China considers Taiwan one of its provinces and has threatened it with military intervention in case of its declaration of independence. Yet Taiwan has been operating practically independently since 1949, it has its own government and a democratic regime, while the single, communist party keeps ruling in China.