TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — A gradual process is necessary in order to eventually have Slovakia formally recognize Taiwan as a sovereign nation, Peter Osusky, head of the Slovakia parliament’s Taiwan Friendship Group, said on Wednesday (June 8).
Speaking at a Ministry of Foreign Affairs press conference, Osusky said he wished Slovakia would diplomatically recognize Taiwan but reiterated that the process must be carried out gradually. He pointed out that the EU as a whole is restricted from doing so due to being bound by a “one China” policy framework, CNA reported.
It would be difficult for Slovakia to lead the way in reversing this policy, he said, adding that it can only be done step by step. The general direction of Slovakia's relations with Taiwan is to support it, Osusky said.
Additionally, the lawmaker praised Lithuania for allowing Taiwan to set up its Taiwanese Representative Office in the capital city of Vilnius, calling it a "heroic act." He suggested that Taiwan's office in Slovakia should be relabeled as an embassy instead of a representative office.
Taiwan’s envoy to Slovakia should also be referred to as ambassador and the Taiwan flag should also be displayed in public, Osusky said. If all democratic countries followed suit and jointly stood behind Taiwan, the Chinese Communist Party would not be able to do anything, he remarked.
Osusky also said he believes Slovakia should follow Lithuania’s lead and leave the Beijing-backed 17+1 initiative, originally intended to promote cooperation between China and Central and Eastern European countries. Taiwan is actually a more important investor in Slovakia than China, which many people may not be aware of, he said.
The Slovakia delegation arrived in Taiwan on June 5 where it met with President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文), Premier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌), Legislative President You Si-kun (游錫堃), Foreign Minister Joseph Wu (吳釗燮), and other government ministers and officials.
Slovakia parliament Deputy Speaker Milan Laurencik, who led the group of lawmakers, oversaw the signing of a Taiwan-Slovakia judicial cooperation deal on Wednesday (June 8). Additionally, Juraj Droba, President of the Bratislava Region inked a partnership agreement with Kaohsiung allowing more bilateral cooperation in science, technology, and education.
The delegation is scheduled to depart on Friday.