Prague mayor to Taiwan president: Human rights more important than a (Chinese) panda

02-04-2019

Prague Mayor Zdeněk Hřib (Pirates) told President Tsai Ing-wen of Taiwan during a business trip this week that human rights are of greater importance to Czechs than getting a panda, he wrote on Twitter.

Communist China often gifts pandas to countries that embrace its “one China” policy, which does not recognise Taiwan.

Mayor Hřib, who was attending the Smart City Summit & Expo conference as part of his business trip to Taiwan, was alluding to a diplomatic incident last week.

Minister of Industry and Trade Marta Nováková (on the ANO ticket) bowed to the Chinese ambassador in asking Taiwan’s representative to leave a meeting at her ministry.

Mr Hřib said he and Taiwan’s president had discussed the possibility of direct flights between Prague and Taipei, which he said could facilitate ties. Currently, Taiwan has an Economic and Cultural Office in the Czech Republic but no embassy.