Vystrcil’s Taiwan visit an opportunistic stunt: Global Times editorial

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Source: Global Times

Czech Senate Speaker Milos Vystrcil waves upon his arrival at Taiwan’s Taoyuan International Airport on Sunday. Photo: AFP

Czech Senate Speaker Milos Vystrcil landed in Taipei Sunday on a Taiwan’s China Airlines charter flight, a visit which blatantly violates the one-China principle. Vystrcil is the highest-ranking sitting Czech official to visit the island, as well as the first head of senate among European countries which have established diplomatic relations with China to have visited the island. The visit is vicious in nature.

Vystrcil claimed his Taiwan trip is to show support for democracy, and the Czech Senate accused that China’s opposition against the trip interfered in the Czech Republic’s internal affairs. Such false logic is quite twisted. Respecting the one-China principle and not developing official ties with the island of Taiwan are commitments of all countries that have established diplomatic ties with China. That’s why the senate speaker of all other European countries does not visit Taiwan.

Vystrcil is a rule-breaker who is trampling on diplomatic civilization. His gilding for his evil deeds is a manifestation of being a political hooligan.

To what extent Vystrcil’s tour represents his country is difficult to define. Czech President Milos Zeman and Foreign Minister Tomas Petricek have publicly expressed their opposition to the visit, saying it would jeopardize China-Czech Republic relations. But according to the country’s constitution, Vystrcil is the second-highest official in the Czech Republic. At the same time, the senate is filled with the most diverse opinions in the Czech Republic as well as other Western countries. Now the Czech government and its senate are controlled by different political parties. This tells the situation of how much Vystrcil represents his country.

The Czech Republic is a small county in Europe. Vystrcil is obviously trying to pull a stunt by visiting Taiwan. Some Czech forces have a tendency of forcing ideological factors into the country’s diplomacy. This is considered to be related to the Czech history of being a Soviet satellite state. Those forces tend to behave more aggressively in terms of anti-Communist, so as to declare they are already a member of the West.

Vystrcil’s plan to visit Taiwan was raised last year, which reminds us of a saying: There’s no smoke without fire. Over the past two years, the US has drastically changed its China policy, and has launched a whole-of-government attack against China, instigating its European allies to engage in a new cold war against China. These have offered a driving force for Vystrcil’s agenda and practice of promoting the tour to Taiwan.

Vystrcil’s tour is a result of him and some Czech politicians seeing which way the wind blows and gauging Washington’s intent. A few years ago, he would not have the nerve to challenge the one-China principle by visiting the island of Taiwan. This is a new unpleasant reality – the US will always be able to find forces in certain countries to echo its intention to open a front against China. It is not easy for the US to sway countries with close contacts and in-depth cooperation with China, but some forces in countries with relatively less economic cooperation with China are eager to become Washington’s accomplice. Vystrcil may not be the last opportunist to break the rules on the Taiwan question.

The one-China principle has long been one of the cornerstones of the modern international relations’ system. Just as international norms such as not changing the territorial status quo, respecting every country’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, the one-China principle is also part of the foundation of the world order. However, the US is stirring up troubles on the principle for the sake of containing China. In this regard, it has continued to lob stones in the water and there will surely be ripples. We should leave nothing to chance when facing the coming challenges.

Vystrcil is attracting eyeballs and promoting his status by visiting Taiwan. When we escalate our response toward his provocations, we have to some extent helped him achieve his goal. Yet ignoring him might seem that his behavior is being indulged. To begin with, we should not be riled. China has gone through ups and downs in its ties with the US, so a Czech Senate speaker who comes to Taiwan to seek troubles is just a nobody. China can well respond as needed according to its strength and toolbox.

After all, the one-China principle cannot be determined by a small, remote Central European country’s senate speaker, or Washington. It is determined by China’s strength, the will of the 1.4 billion Chinese people, the country’s forceful Anti-Secession Law and the supervision and implementation of the law by the powerful People’s Liberation Army. Vystrcil is playing an insignificant role and will left nothing after the tour.

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