Taipei-Prague sister city agreement wording unchanged

Despite KMT objection, Prague-Taipei alliance agreement sent to Taipei City Council for review

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Prague Mayor Zdeněk Hřib (left) with Taipei City Mayor Ko Wen-je last March. CNA photo.

Prague Mayor Zdeněk Hřib (left) with Taipei City Mayor Ko Wen-je last March. CNA photo.

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — The sister-city agreement between Taipei and the Czech capital of Prague has been returned to Taipei City Council (TCC) for review with the “City of Taipei, Taiwan” wording unchanged.

A discussion on Monday (Nov. 11) morning by TCC's Civil Affairs Committee concluded that Prague had showed incredible goodwill in a difficult diplomatic situation, according to Liberty Times. The sister-city agreement between Prague and Taipei stalled Friday (Nov. 8) because a Kuomintang (KMT) party member at TCC wanted the name "Taiwan" scrapped from the text in favor of “Republic of China."

However, DPP member Liang Wen-chieh (梁文傑) and Social Democratic Party member Miao Po-ya (苗博雅) said there should be no further obstacles otherwise the whole endeavor may be suppressed by Beijing. Liang said that it would be bad for the friendship between Prague and Taipei, since Prague had already been subjected to immense pressure from Beijing.

On Oct. 4 it was reported that Prague intended to cancel its sister-city relationship with Beijing over the latter's unwillingness to renegotiate wording related to Beijing’s ”One China Policy" in the partnership agreement.

Chou Tai-chu (周台竹), a spokesperson for Taipei City Government, said there could be major consequences if there were further delays to the agreement. He said the Mayor of Prague, Zdeněk Hřib, had demonstrated “great goodwill,” which Taipei appreciated.

The committee concluded "the diplomatic situation in our country is difficult, and the committee fully supports the development of city diplomacy,” according to the Liberty Times. It recommended that when signing documents with sister cities in future, Taipei City Government should follow the "Procedures for Local Governments and Foreign Local Governments to Establish Alliances," issued by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, before sending them to TCC for consideration.