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'We will be with you,' visiting Czech speaker tells Taiwan

2023-03-29
Focus Taiwan
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Markéta Pekarová Adamová, the visiting speaker of the lower house of the Czech parliament, delivers her speech at the Legislative Yuan in Taipei Tuesday. CNA photo March 28, 2023
Markéta Pekarová Adamová, the visiting speaker of the lower house of the Czech parliament, delivers her speech at the Legislative Yuan in Taipei Tuesday. CNA photo March 28, 2023

Taipei, March 28 (CNA) The visiting speaker of the lower house of the Czech parliament, Markéta Pekarová Adamová, affirmed her country's ties with Taiwan in a speech at the Legislative Yuan and said her nation "will be with" Taiwan.

"I would like to assure that we are with you not only now, but will be with you also in the future, under any circumstances," Adamová said at the Legislature during a special session that was attended by Taiwanese lawmakers across party lines.

Adamová, who heads the Chamber of Deputies of the Czech parliament, arrived in Taiwan on Saturday with a 160-person delegation, the largest ever from the Czech Republic.

The delegation, which consists of government officials, lawmakers from the ruling and opposition parties, and business representatives, reflected the "consensus" in the Czech parliament as well as society on developing relations with Taiwan, Adamová said.

The 38-year-old speaker hailed the affinity between Taiwan and the Czech Republic, noting that both sides had walked through their respective thorny paths to gradually move toward democratization in the 1990s.

"It would be difficult to find two other nations which are as similar as Czechia and Taiwan," Adamová said, adding that the geographical distance and language barrier had not prevented the people from the two sides to understand each other.

The stories of the Czech Republic and those of Taiwan are "intertwined," she said, and it was therefore the shared responsibility of the two sides to continue promoting democracy and freedom, as authoritarian regimes seek to undermine them.

"If we no longer cherish [democracy and freedom], if we don't protect these values, we will soon lose them very fast without even noticing," Adamová said.

On Tuesday, Adamová was awarded a medal by Legislative Speaker You Si-kun (游錫堃) in recognition of her efforts to promote relations between the Czech Republic and Taiwan in the areas of trade, culture, and technology.

She was the first speaker from a country that does not have diplomatic relations with Taiwan to receive such an honor, according to You.

You also commended Adamová for leading the delegation to Taiwan from March 25 to 29 despite China's criticism of the trip.

Beijing has condemned the Czech speaker for visiting Taiwan, warning that her visit would have "an adverse impact" on the bilateral relationship between China and Czechia.

Since her arrival in Taiwan, Adamová has met with several top government officials, including President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文), Premier Chen Chien-jen (陳建仁), and Foreign Minister Joseph Wu (吳釗燮).

She is the first Czech lower house speaker to visit Taiwan, but her visit followed that of Czech Senate President Miloš Vystrčil in late August 2020.

Vystrčil came to Taiwan with a large business delegation months after his predecessor Jaroslav Kubera died before he could make a trip to Taiwan as planned, and he also addressed the Legislature at that time.

Kubera's death sent shock waves through Czech politics, as his relatives alleged that a threatening message from the Chinese embassy played a part in his sudden death.

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