Miloš Vystrčil: Further Deepening of Czech-Taiwanese Cooperation Is an Opportunity of Strategic Importance

Miloš Vystrčil: Further Deepening of Czech-Taiwanese Cooperation Is an Opportunity of Strategic Importance

Miloš Vystrčil, the President of the Senate of the Parliament of the Czech Republic, gave an interview for the Czech-Taiwanese Business Chamber's TaiwanCZ Business March Special.

The interview was held on the occasion of the trade mission TWN:ROK:CZ 2023, which accompanied Markéta Pekarová Adamová during her trip to the Republic of Korea and Taiwan in March 2023.


How do you think the situation in our country and in the world has changed, what changes have occurred in Czech-Taiwanese relations since your trip to Taiwan?

The Russian aggression in Ukraine has clearly exposed the powerful and ruthless character of the Russian authoritarian regime as its army has been murdering citizens and devastating the sovereign territory of a sovereign state for more than a year. Today, the whole world, including the citizens of democratic countries and many in Europe, can see and feel the very serious consequences of being dependent on strategic raw materials, production, and other areas on a country with an authoritarian regime. Unfortunately, only a few years ago, even some senior politicians from democratic countries naively supported strategic cooperation with authoritarian regimes. It is different today. We can all see first-hand that authoritarian regimes cannot be trusted. This is where the democratic world has fundamentally changed and united.

My trip to Taiwan at the turn of August and September 2020 represented a breakthrough in Czech-Taiwanese relations. Deepening cooperation with Taiwan within the framework of enhancing cooperation with democratic partners in the Indo-Pacific region is an integral part of the Political Statement of the Government of the Czech Republic.

However, what I consider equally important is the breakthrough in the perception of Taiwan by the world’s democracies that occurred after our visit. While visiting Taiwan, my fellow Senator Jiří Růžička said that our aim was to build a bridge between Taiwan and democratic countries that would be used very often. This may have seemed overly ambitious at the turn of August and September 2020, but the future surpassed all our expectations. Exaggerating a little, one can say that the door to Taiwan is opened and closed incessantly. Since the summer of 2020, other leaders of strong democracies have visited the 'beautiful island', including, for example, Nancy Pelosi, the Speaker of the House of Representatives of the United States Congress.

Our trip to Taiwan was just the beginning - the beginning of more intensive cooperation gradually developing on multiple levels. This makes me very happy and I would like to thank everyone who has been and still is involved in this. It is important for all of us.


2020 TW 5 (Photo Source: Office of the President of the Senate of the Parliament of the Czech Republic)


How do you evaluate your trip some two and half years later? What outcomes did your trip to Taiwan bring?

We do not face a really fundamental decision in our lives much too often. I consider my decision to visit Taiwan with fellow Senators and 90 members of the delegation to be one of my most important decisions. I am convinced that I made the right decision. With our visit, we have succeeded in providing motivation for more contacts between Taiwan and other democratic countries and, at least in part, in restoring the international authority and respect for human rights our country enjoyed during the presidency of Václav Havel. It makes me truly happy, and I am really proud of the Czech Senate and grateful for the immense support I received from the Czech Senate and our Senators when deciding about our visit to Taiwan. I appreciate it indeed and remain thankful for this support.

We have demonstrated that we are an independent country naturally interested in cooperation with other democracies while supporting them on their own path to freedom. At the same time, we have managed to deepen our existing cooperation and establish new contacts in the fields of business, science and research, innovation, new technologies, culture, education, and others.


How do you perceive the upcoming visit of Speaker Markéta Pekarová Adamová to Taiwan in March? How and in what ways is it different from your visit?

I support the visit by the Speaker Markéta Pekarová Adamová. I consider it a continuation of the direction that has been set; a reaffirmation of the will to share our common values with Taiwan, and an expression of the desire to continue in the development of multilateral cooperation between our countries.

The difference is that it is already the second high-level visit from the Czech Republic hence it can focus on more specific projects now. Moreover, Speaker Markéta Pekarová Adamová will also be able to move more outside the hotel, which we could only do to a limited extent due to the then-growing pandemic, following a precisely defined yet very busy program.


What do you think this second delegation can bring to Czech businesses?

We can expect further development of mutual cooperation in many areas, for example in information technology, artificial intelligence, microchips, and others. I believe this will provide further impetus for the transformation of our economy resulting in the production of high-added-value finished goods. This possesses great prospects for the future mutually advantageous cooperation of both parties in combination with the ongoing study programs for Czech students in these fields at Taiwanese universities.

Similarly to our country, Taiwan is seeking to diversify its exports and strengthen cooperation with the European Union. Due to its advantageous geographical location, the Czech Republic can be quite naturally considered an imaginary gateway to Europe for Taiwan.

According to my still unofficial information, we may also see the start of direct flights on the Prague-Taipei route soon. The direct flights would certainly boost business contacts and, of course, tourism.


2020 TW 2(Photo Source: Office of the President of the Senate of the Parliament of the Czech Republic)


What can the Czech Republic offer to Taiwan after all those years? Have we made any progress?

Things that were hard to imagine before are now normal. The perception of Czech-Taiwanese relations has fundamentally changed just like the political situation in our country, which is now in favor of the further development of our relations.

We have also realized that it is necessary and possible at the same time to keep our backs straight and our spines strong while respecting international law and treaties. If we do not do so, the power appetites, demands, and assertiveness of authoritarian rulers will grow bigger.


What do you expect to be the main outcome or contribution of the upcoming trip of Speaker Markéta Pekarová Adamová to Taiwan? What impact can the trip have on the further development of Czech-Taiwanese relations?

I believe that the visit of Speaker Markéta Pekarová Adamová will reaffirm the support for Taiwan in its democratic and freedom path while allowing for specific projects already under discussion to move forward and opening the door to new opportunities for mutual cooperation.

We will also confirm that Czech parliamentary diplomacy actively supports the strengthening of the European Union's economic ties in the Indo-Pacific region, which is absolutely crucial from the global security point of view. Today, we are a visible and self-confident country, and this is how we want to be perceived by our potential Asian partners. Our ambitions were further confirmed by the successful Czech Presidency of the Council of the European Union.

In conclusion, I would like to wish all members of the delegation productive and successful meetings, and may their goals and expectations be fulfilled!

5. 3. 2023, Miloš Vystrčil


Cover Photo Source: Office of the President of the Senate of the Parliament of the Czech Republic


Stay in touch with us, we do not spam!

Czech - Taiwanese Business Chamber
Rybná 716/24, Staré Město
110 00 Praha, Czech Republic

+420 607 163 521