China is warning of retaliation in response to a visit to Taiwan by a Czech Senate delegation, saying Senate President Milos Vystrcil crossed a “red-line” and violated the one-China principle under which Beijing asserts sovereignty over the island.
As part of the business trip, which ended Friday, Vystrcil delivered a speech in Taiwan’s parliament and met with President Tsai Ing-wen. China said Vystrcil’s visit was an “open provocation,” with Foreign Minister Wang Yi warning that Vystrcil would “pay a heavy price.” The threat led to criticism from European Union leaders. China considers Taiwan a renegade province.
Analysts in the Czech Republic say actions taken by China, if any, may include freezing diplomatic ties with Prague, liquidating China-owned stakes in several Czech companies and restricting Prague-bound Chinese tourists.
They said such action will have a limited impact on the Czech economy given its low dependence on Beijing, yet, may trigger a concerted response from some other European countries. The government in Prague, led by Czech President Miloš Zeman and Prime Minister Andrej Babis, still favors closer ties to China.