Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi on Monday (August 31) threatened the Czech Republic for violating China’s mandate after its senate speaker Milos Vystrcil made an official visit to Taiwan.
Yi, China’s topmost diplomat, said Vystrcil should gear up to “pay a heavy price” for violating the People Liberation Army’s (PLA) “One China” principle, which underlines that both the mainland and Taiwan belong to one China.
Wang, while commenting on Vystrcil’s visit to Taiwan said – “Those who attempt to challenge the one-China principle on the Taiwan question are making themselves enemies of the 1.4 billion Chinese people and will have to pay a heavy price for their moves.”
Vystrcil, the President of the Czech Republic’s senate became the senior-most official from the country to pay a visit to the island nation. He along with a 90-strong delegation including fellow lawmakers, the mayor of Prague, and more than 50 business people, were welcomed by Taiwan Foreign Minister Joseph Wu at the airport.
Vystrcil’s visit is the second high-profile visit by a foreign delegation to Taiwan after the island nation saw the arrival of US Health Secretary Alex Azar, just two weeks ago. Vystrcil, who is on a five-day visit to the island nation, is expected to deliver a speech in the Parliament of Taiwan and meet President Tsai Ing-wen. He was welcomed by the President, who in her tweet wrote,
“On behalf of the people of #Taiwan, I’d like to extend a sincere welcome to CzechRepublic SenatCZ President Vystrcil_Milos & all the members of the delegation. Our nations share many core values & we look forward to furthering cooperation in all areas.”
China, who considers Taiwan as part of its own region, has been striving to isolate Taiwan diplomatically ever since Tsai became president in 2016, with many countries which had earlier enjoyed formal relations with the island nation shifting their allegiance to China, leaving just 15 nations to have official ties with Taiwan.
China considers Taiwan as a ‘renegade province’ and has threatened to annex the region using force if the little island nation formally declares independence.
Beijing continues to claim Taiwan and has vowed to one day seize it, by force if necessary. Under President Xi Jinping, it has become more aggressive, especially after the 2016 election as president of Tsai Ing-wen, who rejects the idea of a “one China” and sees Taiwan as a de facto sovereign state.