Taiwan says China's bullying of Czech politicians, firms creates antipathy

Taiwan's foreign ministry pledges to further Czech relations, calls Vystrcil’s recent trip 'historic'

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MOFA Spokesperson Joanne Ou (Taiwan News photo)

MOFA Spokesperson Joanne Ou (Taiwan News photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Taiwan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) said Beijing’s bullying will only increase antipathy, referring to threats and retaliatory actions China recently made against the Czech Republic over its senate president’s recent Taiwan visit.

“[China’s] bullying will not earn itself respect, but it will only increase antipathy” from the international community, stated MOFA Spokesperson Joanne Ou (歐江安) during a press briefing on Thursday (Sept. 10). Her comments come after China’s Foreign Minister Wang Yi (王毅) threatened that Czech Senate President Milos Vystrcil would “pay a heavy price” for visiting Taiwan.

Ou described the Czech delegation’s trip to Taiwan last week as “a historic visit” that has achieved considerable progress in Taiwan-Czech relations. She asked that attention be focused on Vystrcil’s courage in the face of Beijing’s intimidation as well as the achievements both Taiwan and the Czech Republic have made.

Ou also criticized China for “undermining business activities of a free market by abusing its political power.” She was referring to the recent incident where a buyer in Beijing canceled a US$239,000 order of Czech-made Petrof pianos.

Petrof President Zuzana Ceralova Petrofova said the Chinese client had promptly canceled the order in protest of Vystrcil’s Taiwan trip. Later, Czech tycoon Karel Komarek announced that he would purchase those pianos through his foundation and donate them to Czech schools.

Ou said Komarek’s buying up of Petrof’s canceled order is “moving.” She cited the 51-year-old Czech businessman's words as saying that the pianos will testify the Czech people’s unity and their determination to defend liberty.