Fiala says Czechia sovereign state after China criticism of Pavel Taiwan call

The Czech prime minister, Petr Fiala, has responded to Chinese criticism of a call between the Czech president-elect and the Taiwanese president, saying Czechia is a sovereign state and officials can phone and meet whomever they like.

Czech future head of state Petr Pavel spoke with Taiwanese leader Tsai Ing-wen on Monday.

Mr. Fiala said China should be respected as a major trading partner but that Czechia had good relations with Taiwan in several areas.

He said there was no change in Czech relations with China, which were in line with those of the country’s allies.

The Foreign Ministry in Beijing said Mr. Pavel had ignored its efforts to dissuade him from making such a move and had interfered in Chinese affairs.

Author: Ian Willoughby