Prague and Beijing to end sister-city relations over Taiwan and 'One China' policy

Mayor of Czech capital, Zdenek Hrib, called on China to change wording of agreement back in January

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File photo: Prague Mayor Zdenek Hrib and President Tsai in March

File photo: Prague Mayor Zdenek Hrib and President Tsai in March (CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – On Oct. 4 it was reported that the Czech capital of Prague is planning to cancel its sister-city relationship with Beijing over the latter's unwillingness to re-negotiate wording relating to Beijing’s ”One China Policy" in the partnership agreement.

The move, made thanks to Prague Mayor Zdenek Hrib, indicates that the Czech capital has reconsidered its position on China’s claims to Taiwan, and this could indicate a first step by the Czech government towards strengthening ties with Taiwan. According to Expats.cz, the Prague City Council will meet Monday (Oct. 7) to address the issue.

It is currently anticipated that the Prague City Council will move forward with canceling the arrangement and that the City Assembly will vote on the decision in the near future. Beijing and Prague established sister-city relations only recently in 2016 under previous mayor Adriana Krnáčová, after Xi Jinping made a visit to the city.

The current mayor of Prague Zdenek Hrib has shown strong support for Taiwan and began calling for Beijing to remove the “One China” language from the agreement back in January. Hrib made a visit to Taiwan in March, and has come under fire from Beijing for his “pro-Taiwan stance.”

In Taiwan, Prague also has a sister-city relationship with Taipei. Hrib says that China has all but closed down communications on the issue, which has led the city to its current decision.

“The other side repeatedly declined our proposals to remove clause number three, ignoring our last message completely, and so no understanding has been reached about a possible revision of the text.”

In response to the news, Expats.cz reports that China has already begun canceling various cultural events and tours planned between the cities, with the Prague Philharmonic’s planned tour of China an example. In addition to Beijing, Prague also maintains sister-city relations with Guangzhou and Shanghai.


Prague riverside at night (Photo from Pexels user Julius Silver)