Czech President Slams Senate Leader for ‘Boyish Provocation’ on Taiwan Trip

A visit by the Czech senate speaker to Taiwan was a “boyish provocation,” the country’s President Miloš Zeman said Sunday.

Miloš Vystrčil, the president of the Senate, traveled to Taiwan last week for a six-day trip as part of a 90-strong delegation aimed at boosting trade relations.

Read: Slovak President Shows Support for Czech Delegation’s Taiwan Visit

During the trip, Vystrčil is reported to have told the Taiwanese parliament “I am a Taiwanese,” according to Reuters.

Beijing claims sovereignty over Taiwan and China’s Foreign Minister Wang Yi called the trip “an act of international treachery,” warning Vystrčil would “pay a heavy price.”

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi warned that Vystrcil would “pay a high price for his short-sighted behaviour and political speculation”, while Beijing summoned the Czech ambassador.

Amid fears China will announce economic retaliation, Zeman said Vystrčil will now be excluded from foreign policy briefings. “I consider it boyish provocation,” Zeman told the Prima broadcaster.

Read: ‘I Am Taiwanese’: Czech Senate Speaker Channels JFK in Taiwan Speech

The Czech government did not formally arrange Vystrčil’s Taiwan trip but as a member of the right-wing opposition Civic Democrats, is was not bound by the protocol.

Taiwanese parliamentary leader Yu Shyi-kun called Vystrcil’s visit a diplomatic breakthrough for Taipei that helps prove its existence to the international community.

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