China’s Hainan Airlines stops Beijing-Prague direct flights

China’s Hainan Airlines is halting regular direct flights from Beijing to Prague starting in March, Czech Foreign Ministry officials have confirmed.

Hainan Airlines gave no reason for the disruption. But bilateral relations have cooled significantly in recent months following a series of diplomatic spats.

Earlier in January, Prague signed a sister city agreement with the Taiwanese capital Taipei – after having scrapped one with Beijing in a dispute over a clause therein regarding the “One China” policy in October.

President Miloš Zeman, who has pushed for closer ties with Beijing, says he will not attend China's “17+1” summit being in April unless the country is ready to sign new deals with Czech entrepreneurs on specific projects.

Author: Brian Kenety