TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — The Czech Republic is looking to help Taiwan "as much as possible" as a fellow democracy that is being "bullied by China."
In an interview with Politico on Wednesday (April 13), Czech Republic foreign minister Jan Lipavsky, who is a member of the Czech Pirate Party and took office in December, said "We understand that Taiwan is bullied by China." Lipavsky said that part of his government's vision is that "democracies in the world should hold together — and Taiwan is a democracy."
The Czech foreign minister pointed out that Taiwan is a top investor in the Czech Republic and that "They have created many, many, many good industries, many workplaces, and we want to be working on this economic relationship." He then emphasized that "of course, we want to help them as much as possible."
Lipavsky listed research and innovation in semiconductors, an area in which Taiwan excels, as a possible area of future cooperation. The news agency cited diplomatic officials as predicting that once pro-Beijing President Milos Zeman retires later this year, the Czech Republic could follow Lithuania's lead and establish closer ties with Taiwan.
As for Prague's ties to Beijing, Lipavsky said that his country is carefully watching China's relationship with Russia amid the war in Ukraine and is in a position to take punitive action as the Czech Republic is set to take the presidency of the Council of the EU in July. Lipavasky stated that EU leaders have warned that "any attempt from the Chinese side to help Russia more would have a series of severe consequences for the EU-China relationship."
In response to Lipavsky's comments, Foreign Minister Joseph Wu (吳釗燮) posted a tweet on Thursday (April 14) in which he thanked his counterpart and wrote that "Despite China's bullying, Taiwan will stay strong, resilient and keep working with Czechia and other democratic partners in Europe to strengthen ties and fight authoritarianism."