Shanghai Municipality has terminated its sister-city relationship with the city of Prague with immediate effect and suspended all official exchanges, the Shanghai Municipal People’s Government announced on Tuesday.
The decision was made given the fact that “the political prerequisite and basis for the exchanges between the two cities no longer exist,” according to a statement.
“The administration of the city of Prague of the Czech Republic has repeatedly made wrongful moves on the Taiwan question and other issues that bear on the core interests of China, which has constituted a blatant interference in China’s internal affairs and a flagrant challenge to the one-China principle,” read the statement.
Mutual respect, equality and mutual benefit are the foundation of relations between China and the Czech Republic, noted the Shanghai government, and urged the Prague administration to realize its mistakes as soon as possible, remove the negative impact through concrete actions, and adhere to the one-China principle.
Czech President Milos Zeman has pushed ties with China. But the capital’s government has taken a much harder line, including Prague Mayor Zdenek Hrib’s refusal to eject a Taiwanese diplomat from a conference at the demand of a Chinese official, and his decision to fly the Tibetan flag at City Hall to highlight human rights issues.
Billions of dollars worth of Chinese investments in the country have also not materialized.
Taiwan is China’s most sensitive diplomatic issue, as the island is claimed by Beijing as Chinese territory to be taken by force if needed. China has stepped up pressure on foreign governments to fall into line in accepting its claims.
On Monday, Hrib and Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je signed a sister city agreement in Prague along with other cultural and tourism deals.