TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Entrepreneurs and business leaders from the Czech delegation to Taiwan on Thursday (Sept. 10) reacted to Beijing's decision to ban their companies from the Chinese market and labeled it as "childish."
Following the delegation's trip to Taiwan, led by Czech Senate President Milos Vystrcil, the Chinese government has reportedly issued sanctions on all 89 Czech politicians, businessmen, artists, and academics who participated in the visit. Companies whose representatives were in the delegation were also banned from operating in China, according to Beijing's state-run newspaper China Daily.
Most of the 36 companies owned by the Czech delegation members are small and medium-sized tech enterprises. Some of the business owners said they were prepared for economic retaliation from Beijing prior to the trip, reported CNA.
Radovan Haluza, director of Generi Biotech, told Czech News Agency (CTK) on Thursday that he was not surprised by Beijing's move. However, he said he was sorry there was a difference in mentality between China and the Czech Republic.
Czech-Taiwan Chamber of Commerce Chairman Pavel Divis also said he had expected retaliation, but was nevertheless surprised by how "childish and clearly defined" the sanctions were. He stressed the sanctions were just extensions of Beijing's previous aggressions, including a letter to late Czech Senate President Jaroslav Kubera and Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi's (王毅) recent threats toward the current senate speaker.
The sanctions placed on the Czech delegation are not the first instance of economic retaliation by Beijing against the Central European nation. Earlier this week, a Chinese order for NT$7 million (US$239,000) of Petrof pianos was canceled due to the boycott of Czech companies in China.
Taiwan's Ministry of Foreign Affairs has denounced Beijing's bullying tactics through economic pressure. It said such behavior destroys the free market economy and will not gain respect from the international community, reported Liberty Times.