‘I am Taiwanese’ Czech speaker tells parliament, possible to rile China

'I am Taiwanese' Czech speaker tells parliament, likely to rile China

Czech senate president Milos Vystrcil provides a speech at the main chamber of the Legislative Yuan in Taipei, Taiwan September 1, 2020. REUTERS/Ann Wang

TAIPEI (Reuters) – The head of the Czech Senate declared himself to be Taiwanese in a speech at Taiwan’s parliament on Tuesday, channelling late U.S. President John F. Kennedy’s defiance of Communism in Berlin in 1963, in remarks probable to additional rile Beijing.

China, which promises democratic Taiwan as its very own territory, has threatened to make Czech Senate speaker Milos Vystrcil pay back a “heavy price” for going to the island. The Czech Republic, like most nations, has no official diplomatic ties with Taiwan.

Addressing Taiwan’s parliament, Vystrcil, who is major a delegation of about 90 politicians and small business executives, reported Kennedy’s declaration he was a Berliner was an essential concept for liberty and towards Communism.

“Please enable me also categorical in particular person my guidance to Taiwan and the top worth of liberty and conclude today’s speech … with perhaps a far more humble, but similarly sturdy assertion: ‘I am a Taiwanese’,” Vystrcil stated, receiving a standing ovation.

Kennedy’s “Ich bin ein Berliner” speech in 1963, telling the frightened persons of West Berlin who had been surrounded on all sides by Communist East Berlin that he was also a Berliner, is an handle often known as Kennedy’s most effective.

Vystrcil has stated his Taiwan take a look at underscores the “values-based” international policy put in spot by late President Vaclav Havel, an anti-communist dissident and personalized pal of the exiled Tibetan chief, the Dalai Lama.

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Although the Czech federal government has not supported his stop by, it has been upset by China’s solid condemnation and has summoned the Chinese ambassador. Beijing on Monday also summoned the Czech ambassador for a telling-off.

Czech President Milos Zeman has sought nearer business and political ties with China considering the fact that having office in 2013, but his attempts have been hit by failed financial investment options and Czech wavering about allowing for China’s Huawei Technologies to engage in a part in creating next-era telecoms networks.

Reporting by Ben Blanchard Enhancing by Raju Gopalakrishnan

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