China says Czech Senate speaker Milos Vystrcil will “pay a heavy price” for visiting Taiwan in violation of the internationally-recognized ‘One China’ policy, warning that Beijing will not sit idly by in the face of such “political opportunism.”
During a visit to Germany, Chinese State Councilor Wang Yi said Monday that retribution awaits Vystrcil, who arrived in Taipei a day earlier with a delegation of 90 people, including the mayor of Prague, on a five-day trip said to be aimed at promoting business links with the self-ruled island.
Without explaining how Beijing would respond, Wang said “The Chinese government and Chinese people won’t take a laissez-faire attitude or sit idly by, and will make him pay a heavy price for his short-sighted behavior and political opportunism.”
He said Taiwan was an inseparable part of China and the mainland would not tolerate such “open provocation.”
China considers the self-ruled island as a breakaway province that should be reunited with the mainland under the internationally-recognized “One China” policy. Almost all world countries recognize that sovereignty.
Under that policy, countries are not allowed to have formal relations with Taiwan.
Meanwhile, the Chinese embassy in Prague also reacted to the trip in a statement, describing it as interference in Chinese internal affairs.
“For his own political gains, he [Vystrcil] insisted on a visit to Taiwan, in what is blatant interference in China’s domestic affairs and a serious breach of its national sovereignty and territorial integrity,” said the statement.
Vystrcil, a member of the Czech opposition has made the trip despite opposition from President Milos Zeman and Prime Minister Andrej Babis, who asserted that the country adheres to the ‘One China’ policy.
Vystrcil is scheduled to deliver a speech in Taiwan’s parliament and meet pro-independence President Tsai Ing-wen during the trip.
Tsai said in a post on Twitter that Taiwan and the Czech Republic shared “many core values.”
This is the second high-profile visit by a foreign delegation to the island following the one by US Health Secretary Alex Azar earlier this month.
Azar’s move likewise angered Beijing, which is already locked in disputes with Washington over a range of issues.