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TOP calls for repudiating Prague-Beijing agreement

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Prague, Feb 29 (CTK) – The TOP 09 leadership on Monday called on the leaders of the Social Democrats (CSSD) and Civic Democrats (ODS) to distance themselves from the decision of their Prague assemblymen to sign a partnership agreement between the Czech capital and Beijing.

TOP 09 said they would thereby at least moderate “the world shame” the Czech Republic and Prague faced over the agreement.

TOP 09 primarily minds the agreement including the recognition of One-China Policy, including Taiwan being an inseparable part of China.

The agreement was criticised by both representatives of the opposition as well the former ruling Three-party Coalition (Greens, Christian Democrats/KDU-CSL and STAN) in Prague and the Taiwanese government challenged it at the weekend.

The TOP 09 leadership asked party chairman Miroslav Kalousek to officially call on the CSSD and ODS chairmen, PM Bohuslav Sobotka and Petr Fiala, respectively, to distance themselves from the stance of their Prague fellow party members on the Prague -Beijing agreement.

Under the five-year agreement, both capital cities should cooperate in the spheres of trade, transport tourism, culture, health care, education and services for citizens, and their representatives are to meet regularly.

In the document, Prague also pledged to recognise the One-China Policy.

“The capital city of Prague, in harmony with the Czech government, henceforth recognises the policy of one China and it recognises Taiwan being an inseparable part of the Chinese territory,” the agreement says.

Kalousek previously said the agreement brought shame on Prague, challenging primarily the mention on One-China Policy. He said only the government of the Czech Republic had all powers in foreign policy under the constitution.

“There is not a single reason why an article concerning top international policy should appear in an agreement between two municipalities. Unless we consider timidity, smarm and servility towards strong authoritarian regimes the reasons,” Kalousek told reporters last week.

Assemblyman Matej Stropnicky (Greens) said the document should be a cooperation agreement and no political declaration. Besides, the declaration was demanded and pushed through by Beijing, he added.

On the contrary, CSSD assemblyman Lukas Kaucky defended the point about one China, saying it was in compliance with the official foreign policy of the Czech Republic for more than 25 years as well as of foreign policies of Germany and the United States, for instance.

“The reference to Taiwan is included in the document since Prague has had a cooperation memorandum with its capital since 2001,” he added.

The Prague Assembly approved the document last week by the votes of ANO, CSSD, KSCM and a part of the ODS. Out of the eight ODS assembly members only former Prague mayor Bohuslav Svoboda, Prague ODS branch head Filip Humplik and Vinor mayor Frantisek Svarc voted against it.

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