China Cancels Concerts in Apparent Hit Back at Pro-Taiwan Prague Mayor

In the latest in a string of moves reportedly aimed at embarrassing the Taiwan-friendly mayor of Prague, China announced that it had canceled a scheduled performance by a musical trio from Prague.

Ivan Klansky, a classical pianist and a member of the Guarneri Trio Prague, said he already had a feeling that the group would encounter the same problem as the Prague Philharmonia, which also faced cancellation of their performance in China this month.

According to Czech media reports in April, such actions by China are aimed at humiliating Prague Mayor Zdenek Hrib, who visited Taiwan in March and has been a vocal critic of China’s human rights record.

Hrib, who took office last November, said a few months later that in a twin-sister agreement between Prague and Beijing, he wanted to remove the clause that stated “Taiwan is a part of China” because of concerns that it would be unfair to Taiwan.

During his visit to Taiwan in March, Hrib praised Taipei’s metro system and said he hoped to cooperate with Taipei in the area of building smart cities.

Subsequently, news surfaced in August that China canceled a scheduled performance by the Prazak Quartet and another by the Prague Radio Symphony Orchestra.

After the Guarneri Trio Prague’s performance was also canceled, Klansky said in an interview on Czech Television that he thought it was because the word “Prague” was part of the group’s name.

To the best of his knowledge, Klansky said, there has never been a cancellation of a cultural activity based on the name of a city.

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