Prague to sign sister city pact with Taiwan months after cancelling one with Beijing

Prague Mayor Zdenek Hrib and Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je. Image: CNA

DHARAMSALA, 5 Dec:  The capital of the Czech Republic and Taiwan will sign a “sister city” agreement hard on the heels of the former cancelling one with Beijing.

Prague Mayor Zdenek Hrib has announced on Monday that he will sign an agreement with Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je to forge sisterhood ties between the two cities in January, when Ko is set to visit the Czech Republic capital, Focus Taiwan reported citing Czech news agency CTK.

According to the report, Prague City Hall has further approved a document that laid out plans for economic, business, scientific and cultural cooperation.

The development comes months after Prague and Beijing tore up their sister city agreement.

Prague terminated its sister city agreement with Beijing due to a dispute over the removal of China’s one-China policy clause from their agreement earlier this year in October.

The Mayor who took office in  November 2018 has previously defied Beijing on matters related to Taiwan and Tibet has previously said that “One China policy” has no place in a sister cities agreement, that it was “political” and “one-sided” in nature.

Hrib, who has previously visited Taiwan on a medical training internship has said that Prague will send students to Taipei to learn Chinese and about Taiwan’s experience in the digitalization of healthcare, as well as the development of metro systems.

The agreement will also see Taiwan offer a pangolin to the Prague zoo.

The new Prague-Taipei agreement – whose terms state that it was a “non-political text” – is expected to be vetted by Prague assembly members next Thursday.

Meanwhile, it is understood that the draft agreement, which describes Taipei as “the city of Taipei, Taiwan,” has been stalled in the Taipei City Council since early November, as the city government and the city council have been at odds on using “Taiwan” in the accord, the report concluded.

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