Prague, Dec 12 (CTK) – The City of Prague will sign a sister city agreement with Taiwan’s capital Taipei as the Prague Assembly today approved the City Council’s proposal to do so.
“It is a general, non-political text on cooperation of the cities in economic and business cooperation, science and technology, culture, tourism, education, health care and other spheres,” Prague Mayor Zdeněk Hřib (opposition Pirates) said.
The sister city pact will be signed in January during the visit of Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je in Prague. Prague and Taipei representatives agreed to formalise their cooperation during the visit of the Prague leadership to Taiwan last spring.
Hřib said the cooperation is promising despite the big distance between the two cities.
The Prague-Taipei cooperation began in 2001 based on a memorandum.
The Prague Assembly will also discuss the influence of China and Home Credit firm of the richest Czech Petr Kellner on the Prague City Hall at its meeting.
Aktualne.cz server wrote on Monday that Home Credit hired a PR agency in order to improve the public image of the Chinese Communist regime in the Czech Republic. Home Credit operates in a number of countries including China and focuses on lending money to people.
In October, Prague terminated its sister city agreement with Beijing due to the dispute over the deletion of a a statement on Prague’s recognition of the One China policy. Prague representatives said such a political statement had no place in the agreement.
With respect to the One China policy, the Czech Republic does not 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.
Hrib told CTK previously that the signing of the pact with Taipei would not threaten the partnership agreements that Prague has with Chinese cities.
The Czech-Taiwan relations have recently been discussed in Czech top politics. Senate chairman Jaroslav Kubera (opposition Civic Democrats, ODS) said he would visit Taiwan next year. President Milos Zeman criticised this plan.