TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — The delegation led by Legislative Yuan Speaker You Si-kun (游錫堃) received a warm welcome from Czech Senate President Milos Vystrcil upon arriving in the Czech Republic on Monday (July 18).
The delegation’s trip takes place two years after Vystrcil led a Czech delegation to Taiwan and became the first parliament head of a country that does not have a diplomatic relationship with Taiwan to speak at the Legislative Yuan. His 2020 speech, which concluded with his declaration of “I am a Taiwanese” in reference to the 1963 speech by U.S. President John F. Kennedy, caused a sensation in Taiwan.
The warming of Taiwan-Czech relations has not faltered. CNA reported that after disembarking from a shuttle, You immediately shared a hug with Vystrcil and was shown a custom-made face mask that Vystrcil had received from the Taiwan government during his 2020 visit to Taiwan.
CNA reported that to welcome the Taiwan delegation, the Czech Senate hung Taiwan’s national flag at its entrance.
In a Facebook post, You credited the Czech Republic, which serves as Presidency of the Council of the European Union, for helping deepen Europe’s understanding of Taiwan and thus aiding the passing of the EU-Taiwan Political Relations and Cooperation report. He wrote, “The Czech Republic is Taiwan’s benefactor in Europe and a key catalyst in the advancement of Taiwan-EU relations.”
The delegation was also taken to Former Czech President Vaclav Havel’s grave to honor his contributions to freedom, democracy, and human rights. You cited Vystrcil as saying during a press conference that the slogan for the Czech Republic’s EU presidency refers to Havel’s 1996 speech, in which he said:
"The task of Europe today is to rediscover its conscience and its sense of responsibility in the deepest sense of the word, not just with regard (to) its own political architecture but also with regard to the world as a whole.”
Taiwan's national flag is on display at the Czech Senate's entrance. (Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Prague photo)
You and the delegation pay respect at former Czech President Vaclav Havel's grave. (Facebook, You Si-kun photo)
In 2020, Vystrcil declared, "I am a Taiwanese" during a speech at the Legislative Yuan. (Legislative Yuan photo)