Three months after ending its twinning with the city of Beijing, Prague formalizes a new partnership with the Taiwanese capital. The move is a setback for China, whose influence is increasingly criticized in the Czech Republic.
The mayor of Prague Zdenek Hrib has decided to end the twinning agreements of the Czech capital with Beijing, to sign a new agreement this Monday, January 13, but this time with the Taiwanese capital, Taipei. To justify his choice, the mayor invoked “Shared values [par les deux villes] that are democracy, respect for fundamental human rights and the right to assert one’s cultural identity ”, reports the daily Taipei Times.
The establishment of the new partnership with Taipei comes after months of tension between Prague and the city of Beijing. After his election in 2018, Zdenek Hrib wanted to reject a clause according to him “Unusually geopolitical” inserted in the twinning agreements, prohibiting the parties from mentioning any “Independence of Taiwan and Tibet” to China.
Following Beijing’s refusal, the mayor of Prague terminated the agreements in October 2019, as he had told in a forum published by the Washington Post on December 23. The mayor, who carried out part of his studies in Taipei, described China as a “Untrustworthy partner” highlighting the non-fulfillment of Chinese investment promises in the Czech Republic and “China’s efforts to influence public opinion in its country. ” He said “Having lost a partner but having gained a new one” : the city of Taipei.
Diplomatic victory for Taiwan
“Taiwan won a small diplomatic victory”, analyze it South Morning China Post on the occasion of the ceremony formalizing the new twinning this Monday