Czech government suggests inclusion of 'Taiwan' in sister city agreement with Taipei

Czech foreign ministry recommends including 'Taiwan' in sister city agreement between Taipei and Prague

Prague Mayor Zdenek Hrib (Left) and Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je.

Prague Mayor Zdenek Hrib (Left) and Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je. (CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — A draft of a sister city agreement between Taipei and Prague now includes "Taiwan" upon the recommendation of the Czech Republic Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

The Prague City Council will review the sister-city agreement in December. City officials revealed that the use of "Taiwan" within the agreement was recommended by the Czech Republic Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Czech newspaper Deník N reported that a draft of the agreement states that the two cities will strengthen exchanges and cooperation in the areas of culture, education, science and technology, tourism, and health. Martin Churavy, head of Prague's International Relations and Protocol Unit, said the draft will be submitted to the city council for review on Dec. 12 and hopefully be passed before the end of the year, reported CNA.

Deník N also mentioned that the agreement stalled on Nov. 8 because when Kuomintang (KMT) councilor Wang Hao (王浩) saw the phrase “The City of Taipei, Taiwan,” he demanded that Taiwan be changed to “R.O.C." In the end, the city council decided to put the issue aside while the city government compared the text with previous sister city agreements.

In response, Churavy said that the Prague city government had asked the Czech Foreign Affairs Ministry about the disputed wording. The ministry suggested using "Taiwan," so the sister city agreement now includes the words "The City of Taipei, Taiwan."

Bilateral relations between the Czech Republic and China have been quite strained recently because of Prague Mayor Zdenek Hrib's support for Taiwan.

Following Prague's suspension of sister city relations with Beijing due to a dispute over the "one China" clause and China's cancellation of the performance of four Czech musical groups in retaliation, Jaroslav Kubera, speaker of the Czech Senate, attended the National Day reception held by the Taiwan representative office last month. This also triggered protests from the Chinese ambassador to the Czech Republic.

The report pointed out that Taiwan is an important trading partner for the Czech Republic, with its investments in the central European nation trailing only Japan and South Korea among Asia-Pacific countries.

Draft of sister city agreement. (CNA photo)