The Chinese embassy in Prague has slammed this week’s visit to Taiwan by a Czech delegation as “a serious infringement on China’s national sovereignty”.
A delegation of about 90 Czech politicians, entrepreneurs, scientists and journalists led by senate speaker Milos Vystrcil visited Taiwan from August 30 to September 4.
Under its One China policy, Beijing considers Taiwan a part of its territory, with reunification by force an option, and does not send official delegations to the island.
The Czech centre-left government officially accepts the One China policy, but Vystrcil is a member of the right-wing opposition Civic Democrats and is not bound by the protocol.
The embassy said on Saturday that the visit was “a serious interference in China’s internal affairs” and called on the Czech Republic to “take specific steps to remove the unfavourable impact of the said incident”.
“There is only one China in the world and Taiwan is an inseparable part of its territory,” it said.
“No matter what manipulation the Taiwanese authorities and anti-China forces come up with, they cannot change this.”
On Monday, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi described the trip as a “provocation”, saying that China would make Vystrcil “pay a high price for his short-sighted behaviour”.
The Czech foreign ministry then summoned China’s ambassador to Prague and Beijing followed suit.
Vystrcil gave a speech in Taiwan’s parliament and met President Tsai Ing-wen, whose re-election earlier this year upset China as she views the island as a sovereign nation.
Ties between Prague and China suffered a blow last October when Prague city hall, run by a mayor from the anti-establishment Pirate Party, pulled out of a twinning deal with Beijing over its insistence on the One China policy.
Prague mayor Zdenek Hrib, who was on Vystrcil’s delegation, then signed a partnership agreement with Taipei in January, triggering outrage in Beijing.