Despite Beijing’s obstruction, Czech president-elect Pavel had a phone call with Taiwan’s Tsai Ing-wen

- International - January 30, 2023
Despite Beijing's obstruction, Czech president-elect Pavel had a phone call with Taiwan's Tsai Ing-wen
Despite Beijing's obstruction, Czech president-elect Pavel had a phone call with Taiwan's Tsai Ing-wen

The President-elect of the Czech Republic, Petr Pavel, had a telephone conversation with Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen on the evening of Monday (January 30). The two sides talked cordially for nearly 15 minutes and promised to further develop bilateral relations.

Before the phone call between Pavel and Tsai Ing-wen, the Chinese government contacted the Czech government in an attempt to block the call under the constraints of the so-called “one-China principle,” but Beijing’s efforts failed.

Pavel, who has a long-serving military background, defeated former Czech Prime Minister Babis in the second round of the two-day Czech presidential election. One day after he won the election, he spoke with Tsai Ing-wen, expressing his great concern for the Taiwan Strait issue and his firm support for Taiwan. Pavel will be sworn in as Czech president on March 9.

Pavel served as the Chief of Staff of the Czech Armed Forces and also served at the top of NATO. He is pro-Western and has always advocated a tough stance against China and Russia.

Although according to the Czech political system, the head of government is the prime minister rather than the president, but as the head of state, the president has special political power and lofty status, and also has a significant influence on the direction of Czech policy.

Lin Yu-chan, spokesperson of the Taiwan Presidential Office, told the media after the call that Tsai Ing-wen congratulated Pavel on behalf of the people and the government of Taiwan at the beginning of the call, and praised Pavel for continuing the respect for democracy, freedom and respect for the former Czech President Havel. The founding spirit of human rights.

Tsai Ing-wen hopes that under the leadership of Pavel, the Czech Republic will continue to cooperate with Taiwan to promote a close partnership.

“The president said that both she and Pavel are alumni of the University of London and share common life experiences. They look forward to maintaining contact and extensive exchanges on Taiwan-Czech bilateral relations and regional issues in the future,” said Lin Yuchan.

“The president emphasized that Taiwan and the Czech Republic have close and sound bilateral interactions, actively promoting cooperation in various fields such as economics, trade, investment, science and technology, education, culture, and tourism. Taiwan is willing to deepen cooperation with the Czech Republic in semiconductor design, cutting-edge technology talent cultivation, and global supply chain restructuring. cooperation and exchanges, and will encourage Taiwanese companies to use the Czech Republic as an important base in Central and Eastern Europe to deepen economic and trade exchanges,” Lin Yuchan added.

Pavel is the second foreign president-elect to speak on the phone during Tsai Ing-wen’s presidency. After former U.S. President Trump won the U.S. election in 2016, he also had a phone call with Tsai Ing-wen before being sworn in.

During the phone call, Pavel thanked Tsai Ing-wen for his congratulations on his election as president, affirmed that the Czech Republic and Taiwan share values ​​such as freedom, democracy, respect for human rights, and the rule of law, and emphasized that Taiwan is a reliable partner. comminicate.

“Pavel also stated that the Czech Republic firmly stands on the same side of the democratic system, supports Taiwan in maintaining a vibrant democratic system and will not be coerced by authoritarianism, and will strengthen cooperation with Taiwan in all aspects,” Lin Yuchan relayed.

Beijing’s foreign ministry had contacted the Czech government before Pavel’s call with Tsai in an attempt to block the call. Beijing has always asserted its sovereignty over Taiwan, and even if it resorts to force, it wants to achieve the reunification of the two sides of the Taiwan Strait. Beijing also strongly opposes official exchanges between governments of countries with which Beijing has diplomatic relations with Taiwan, and opposes foreign dignitaries visiting Taiwan or communicating or engaging with Taiwan leaders.

According to Reuters, Beijing’s foreign ministry told the agency on Monday that Pavel had previously said during the election campaign that the one-China principle should be respected.

“China is confirming (this matter) with the Czech side and hopes that the Czech side will abide by the one-China principle,” the foreign ministry in Beijing told Reuters.

The presidential office in Taipei said the call between Tsai Ing-wen and Pavel lasted about 15 minutes, and Foreign Minister Joseph Wu also participated in the call.

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