President of Czech senate to visit Taiwan next year

In face of opposition from China, 72 year-old tells Beijing not to be so 'sensitive'

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TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Despite opposition from the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), President of the Czech Senate Jaroslav Kubera said in a recent interview that he will visit Taiwan next year as originally intended, explaining that Beijing is sensitive to the Taiwan issue because it is obviously worried that China will disintegrate like the former Soviet Union.

Kubera gave a speech at the Czech National Day reception held at the Czech Economic and Cultural Office in Taipei on Oct. 9, according to CNA. He took a group photo with the permanent representative to the Czech Republic, Wang Chung-i (汪忠一), prompting protestations from Chinese Ambassador to the Czech Republic Zhang Jianmin (張建敏).

In separate interviews to Denik N and Czech Television in October, 72 year-old Kubera responded to the diplomatic issue saying that Taiwan is not an independent country in China’s eyes, but this does not mean that the president of the senate should not meet with Taiwanese representatives. Beijing is so sensitive to the Taiwan issue, he said, because it is clearly worried that China is as fragmented as the former Soviet Union.

In order to retaliate against Czech capital Prague's intention to abolish its sister-city partnership with Beijing, in the past six months or so the CCP has canceled performances in China by four Czech artist groups, including the Prague Philharmonia, causing uproar in the Czech political world.

Pointedly directing his words at Zhang, Kubera said it seems that for China, anything bearing the name Prague must be resisted, even Prague ham. However, he said, there is no need to be so sensitive to the word Prague, according to the CNA report.

Many Chinese netizens have warned that if Kubera visits Taiwan, he will never be able to set foot in China again. Kubera responded by saying that if that is the case, it is simply a question of human rights.

Kubera stressed that Taiwan companies invest more in the Czech Republic than China does, so Czech industries tend to do business with Taiwan. The visit to Taiwan is for the benefit of the Czech Republic, he said — the plan to visit Taiwan after the presidential election next year remains unchanged.