Taipei, March 25 (CNA) Markéta Pekarová Adamová, the speaker of the Czech parliament's lower house, said after arriving in Taipei on Saturday that Taiwan and Czechia are the "closest of friends" and regard freedom as their most precious value.
Adamová arrived with a delegation of more than 150 people, including business leaders, academics, and government officials for a five-day visit to Taiwan, during which she is scheduled to meet with President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) and deliver a speech at the Legislative Yuan.
The delegation arrived in Taiwan on a Czech government aircraft, which landed at Taipei Songshan Airport at 4:42 p.m. The visitors were greeted by Legislative Speaker You Si-kun (游錫堃) and Foreign Minister Joseph Wu (吳釗燮).
Adamová, who promised to visit Taiwan last year but had to postpone her plans because of COVID-19, told reporters at the airport she never once thought about canceling the trip.
Taiwan and the Czech Republic are the "closest of friends," and cooperation and bilateral visits are the key to maintaining friendships, said Adamová, who heads the Chamber of Deputies.
The visiting delegation was the largest in the history of Taiwan-Czechia relations and the largest of any Czech delegation traveling overseas over the past five years, she said.
If the Czech government had dispatched another aircraft to Taiwan, that aircraft would have been packed too, as there were still many entrepreneurs, members of art circles, and local government officials who wanted to visit Taiwan, she said.
Adamová said she was looking forward to learning about different industries in Taiwan, though her focus will be on strengthening bilateral cooperation on semiconductors where Taiwan is a powerhouse and could offer the Czech Republic assistance.
Security and cultural exchanges are also key issues expected to be covered during her visit, she said.
Asked by reporters what motivated her to go ahead with the trip knowing that it might provoke a protest from Beijing, Adamová said she came because friends should not ignore each other.
The Czech Republic and Taiwan are separated by a great distance, but they share the same basic values, and that is why the Czech Republic will stand with Taiwan, she said.
Adamová said she wanted Taiwan's people to know that Taiwan is not isolated and that it has many friends in the international community, "one of whom has just arrived."
You said he invited Adamová to visit Taiwan while heading a delegation to Czechia in July 2022, and he praised Adamová for being a woman of her word by honoring her promise to visit.
Taiwan and Cezchia are as close as siblings and their shared values make them "kindred spirits," You said.
Wu said Adamová's visit came amid China's warnings and is a testament to the firm friendship between Taiwan and the Czech Republic.
Referring to the strategic policy framework for the Indo-Pacific released by the Czech Republic in November 2022, which named Taiwan as a "major partner" of the Czech Republic, Wu said cooperating with Taiwan aligns with Czech interests.
Meanwhile, Presidential Office spokesperson Kolas Yotaka said President Tsai Ing-wen is scheduled to meet with members of the delegation on March 27.
The office welcomed the Cezch delegation, whose members include Maret Zenisek, who chairs the Committee on Foreign Affairs in the Chamber of Deputies; Pavel Žáček, who chairs the Committee on Security; and Chamber of Deputies members Marek Výborný, Ondřej Lochman, and Ivan Jáč, Kolas said.