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/TAIWAN: President-Elect Petr Pavel Spoke With Taiwanese Counterpart


Czech President-elect Petr Pavel tweets that he "spoke with the President of Taiwan Tsai Ing-wen" and "assured her that Taiwan and the Czech Republic share the values of freedom, democracy, and human rights." The two officials "agreed on strengthening our partnership," with Pavel expressing "hope to have the opportunity to meet President Tsai in person in the future."

  • The phone call, which according to the Taiwanese side took place around 10:00CET, will likely provoke an assertive diplomatic response from mainland China. Beijing's Foreign Ministry said this morning that it asked Czech officials to confirm media reports surrounding Pavel's touted call with Tsai.
  • During the presidential campaign, Petr Pavel has taken unequivocally pro-West positions, in contrast with outgoing President Milos Zeman and his notorious attempts to improve relations with Russia and China.
  • Prime Minister Petr Fiala's centre-right administration has been on collision course with Zeman. Last year, the parliament's foreign affairs committee passed a resolution asking the government to explore an exit from the 16+1 group of China and CEE countries and the debate on the matter may resurface once Zeman leaves office.
  • The group has already shrunk after the departure of Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia. The decoupling with China was spearheaded by Vilnius and generated diplomatic and trade tensions. They were soon elevated to EU level, with Brussels filing a complaint to the WTO against alleged restrictions imposed by China on Lithuanian exports.

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