China warns tourists against visiting the Czech Republic

The warning follows an increase in COVID-19 cases in the Czech Republic, but some media also tie it to the Czech Senate head's trip to Taiwan

ČTK

Written by ČTK
Published on 14.09.2020 09:00 (updated on 14.09.2020)

Beijing, Sept 14 (CTK) – The Chinese Ministry of Culture and Tourism has warned tourists against visiting the Czech Republic, the paper China Daily has written on its website.

The paper South China Morning Post noted that Beijing explained the warning against trips to the Czech Republic with “signs of a quick rebound in the COVID-19 pandemic” in the country.

“China has largely restricted overseas travel since March, and although Beijing cited the spike in infections as the reason for the warning, it came soon after a high-profile visit by a Czech politician to Taiwan, which Beijing claims as its own,” the paper writes.

“Late last month, Czech Senate president Miloš Vystrčil made an official trip to Taiwan, the most senior politician from a central European country to visit the self-ruled island in 16 years,” the paper writes.

“Beijing has vowed to take back the island and sees any official visit to Taiwan by foreign politicians as a challenge to its sovereignty,” it adds.

“During his trip in Germany last week, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi warned that Beijing would not sit back after the ‘public provocation’ by Vystrčil and threatened to make him “pay a heavy price” for the visit to Taiwan,” South China Morning Post writes.

“The Czech Republic is one of Europe’s hottest destinations for Chinese tourists, with an estimated 612,000 Chinese travelers visiting the country last year. According to Czech government figures, China is the fourth-biggest source for tourists to the country, after Germany, Slovakia and Poland,” it adds.

According to CzechTourism estimates, Chinese tourists make up about 5-6 percent of all guests accommodated in the Czech Republic’s hotels.