The Prague City Council decided to conclude its pact with Taipei in December. In the fall of last year, withdrawal from the partnership with Beijing preceded the decision.
In response to the new Prague-Taipei partnership, China’s financial center Shanghai today announced that it is suspending all official contact with Prague.
“I am glad to repay the hospitality and warm welcome I received almost a year ago,” said Zdeněk Hřib at the beginning of the meeting with his counterpart Ko Wen-je, adding that he considers Taipei his second home. Hřib, along with other Pirates, visited the city last March and Prague’s mayor studied there in the past.
The signing of the sister pact aims to deepen existing cooperation. The mayor of Prague has previously said that the partnership is an apolitical decision.
According to Hřib, both cities are connected by democratic values, respect for fundamental human rights, and aspirations for the best IT cities in their region as well as cultural cooperation.
Based on the memorandum, both cities will also cooperate in the field of tourism, smart cities, and education. Moreover, Prague and Taipei zoos will work together as well.
According to the agreement, the Prague Zoo will receive pangolins from Taipei. Pangolins are the only mammals with a body covered with scales and that lives in Asia. The pangolin’s diet consists mainly of ants.
The arrival of this extraordinary animal should be the first formal step in fulfilling the cooperation. Experts from Taipei are to teach Prague zoologists how to care for the pangolins.
Ko Wen-je added that cooperation with Prague could become a gateway to Europe for Taiwan.
Last autumn, Prague decided to terminate its sister pact with Beijing because of the unwillingness of China to renegotiate the deletion of the clause on recognition of the “One China” policy.
In response to the conclusion of the Prague-Taipei pact, Shanghai decided to suspend all official ties with Prague. With this step, the Chinese city is protesting against the approach of Prague, which “wantonly interfered in China’s internal politics and publicly challenged the ‘One China’ principle”.