Beijing on Wednesday slammed Prague for hosting a Taiwanese delegation, claiming the EU member had violated the one-China policy.
The group led by parliament speaker You Si-kun is on a four-day visit to the Czech Republic, which currently holds the rotating EU presidency.
The Chinese embassy in Prague called You “a staunch separatist” and accused Prague of “seriously violating the state sovereignty and territorial unity of China”.
China is trying to keep Taipei isolated on the world stage and prevents any sign of international legitimacy for the island.
The Czech Republic officially pursues the one-China policy, just like the entire European Union, but its officials foster close ties with the island.
“The Chinese side urges the Czech side to take China’s strict stance seriously, to keep its political pledge vis-a-vis one China,” the embassy said in a statement.
“China… will take any measures necessary to suppress any attempts at ‘Taiwan’s independence’,” it added.
You shrugged off the criticism, saying that “every time we are invited somewhere, China always comments and it will always protest, no matter where we travel”.
Czech senate speaker Milos Vystrcil said his invitation for You was no violation of the one-China policy.
“On the contrary, this is exactly what a free, democratic, sovereign country should do,” he told reporters.
Vystrcil angered China two years ago when he led a 90-member delegation of politicians, entrepreneurs, scientists and journalists to the island.
Last year, in turn, a 66-member delegation from Taiwan visited Slovakia, the Czech Republic and Lithuania in a bid to boost business ties with the region.
During his visit to the Czech Republic, You visited the central Vysocina region where Vystrcil was born and also met lower house speaker Marketa Pekarova Adamova.
He will next travel to Lithuania, which irked Beijing by opening a de facto embassy of Taiwan in Vilnius last year.
Taiwan is planning to open a cultural centre in Prague next year, You’s delegation said.
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