Stun grenades on Zeman’s Unsinkable Aircraft Carrier: Prague and Taipei establish sister-city relations

The following is Taiwanese coverage of city-sister relations between Prague and Taipei. Links within blockquotes added during translation.

Red star over Radio Prague: a pre-1989 QSL card, confirming reception of a broadcast on December 30, 1985

Red star over Radio Prague: a pre-1989 QSL card,
confirming reception of a broadcast
on December 30, 1985

Radio Taiwan International (RTI), December 12, 2019

The Prague city hall assembly unanimously passed a proposal today (December 12) to conclude a sister city agreement with Taipei. Mayor Zdeněk Hřib is likely to sign the agreement with Taipei mayor Ko Wen-je next month.

布拉格市議會今天(12日)無異議通過與台北市締結為姐妹市的提案,市長賀瑞普(Zdeněk Hřib)預計將在下個月與台北市長柯文哲簽署。

Prague city council discussed the proposal today, and because of a consensus between all governing coalition parties, a vote was taken right after a short explanation by mayor Hřib, with 39 votes in favor of the proposal, zero opposing it, and two abstentions.

布拉格市議會今天討論與台北市締結為姐妹市的提案,由於在聯合政府執政的各黨有共識,市長賀瑞普簡短說明後即直接進行表決,結果以39票贊成、零票反對、2票棄權的壓倒性高票通過。

Hřib had said after a city government meeting last week that he would officially sign a sister city agreement with Taipei mayor Ko Wen-je in January next year, to strengthen Prague’s cooperation and relations with Taipei in economics and trade, culture, tourism, education and in other fields. Besides, Prague’s Zoological Garden was hopeful to get a pangolin as a gift from Taipei.

賀瑞普上週在市政會議後曾表示,將在明年1月與來訪的台北市長柯文哲正式簽署姐妹市協議,加強布拉格與台北在經貿、文化、觀光、教育等領域的合作關係,此外,布拉格動物園可望獲得台北贈送的穿山甲。

Central News Agency (CNA), December 13, 2019

Zdeněk Hřib only took office last year. In January this year he said that he wanted to remove the clause concerning the one-China policy, and Taiwan being an inseparable part of [China’s] territory, from the sister city agreement with Beijing. He also met with Tibetan exile government leader Lobsang Sangay on his own initiative, openly challenging [Czech] president Miloš Zeman’s pro-China policies with a stun grenade at Czech-Chinese relations.

賀瑞普(Zdeněk Hřib)去年底才上任,今年1月即宣布要廢除前任市長與北京締結的姐妹市協議當中有關一個中國政策和台灣是中國不可分割領土的條款,並在市府主動接見西藏流亡政府首長洛桑森格,公然挑戰總統齊曼(Miloš Zeman)的親中政策,為捷克和中國關係投下震撼彈。

According to Hřib, he had done an internship in Taiwan as a student and got a good impression of Taiwan, referring to himself as a “Taiwan fan”. He also visited Taiwan in March, had a meeting with President Tsai Ing-wen, and tested the water for concluding a sister-city status.

按照賀瑞普自己的說法,學生時代曾到台灣實習的他對台灣留下好印象,自稱是「台灣迷」。3月他還親訪台灣,晉見總統蔡英文,為締結姊妹市一事試水溫。

In fact, Hřib’s friendly conduct towards Taiwan also reflects, to a certain degree, dissatisfaction among Czech society with China.

事實上,賀瑞普的友台作為,也一定程度反映了捷克社會近年對中國的不滿。

In 2016, Chinese state chairman Xi Jinping visited Prague for the first time and pledged large-scale investment. [Czech president] Zeman replied that he hoped the Czech Republic, as an unsinkable aircraft carrier, could “help China expand its investment in Europe”, standing out in Europe’s world of politics by its friendship with China.

2016年,中國國家主席習近平首次訪問布拉格,承諾為捷克帶來大筆投資,齊曼還呼應說希望捷克成為「協助中國在歐洲擴張投資永不沉沒的航空母艦」,對中國的友好在歐洲政壇獨樹一幟。

But several years later, many of China’s investment pledges have not materialized, and Ye Jianming, a mysterious businessman and svengali between the two countries, has suddenly disappeared. Hřib’s plan to remove the one-China clause grabbed the opportunity provided by the misgivings among Czech society, concerning China.

然而,幾年過去了,中國的許多投資承諾都沒兌現,在兩國之間牽線的神秘商人葉簡明還突然消失。賀瑞普打算廢除一中條款,正好抓住捷克社會對中國質疑聲四起的時機。

Also, the Czech Republic which overthrew the communist dictatorship thirty years ago, originally attached importance to the values of democracy and human rights. But in recent years, the Czech Republic has suffered a lot from right-wing populist policies. President Miloš Zeman and prime minister Andrej Babiš have no intention of continuing the spiritual heritage left behind by the Velvet Revolution [of 1989], departing from Vaclav Havel‘s line of humanism and pro-Europeanness.

其次,30年前曾推翻共黨獨裁統治的捷克,原本就特別重視民主和人權的價值。不過,近年來,捷克深受右翼民粹政治所苦,總統齊曼和總理巴比斯(Andrej Babiš)都無意延續絲絨革命留下的精神遺產,背離前總統哈維爾(Vaclav Havel)的人道主義和親歐路線。

[…]

As expected, Hřib’s actions were answered with Chinese retaliation. In April this year, at an annual meeting at the Czech trade and industry ministry, Taiwan’s representative to the Czech Republic was, for the first time, forced to leave the venue under pressure from China’s ambassador.

一如預料,賀瑞普的舉動遭到中方報復。今年4月,捷克貿易工業部為外國使節舉辦年度會議,由於中國大使施壓,我國駐捷克代表首度被迫離席。

Following that, Beijing cancelled Czech Philharmonia’s and another three important Czech ensembles tours of China. And Zeman publicly threatened that China could discontinue direct flights between Chinese cities and Prague, and cut financial assistance for soccer club Slavia Praha.

隨後,中國又一連取消布拉格愛樂(Prague Philharmonia)等4個捷克重要表演團隊在中國的巡迴演出行程。齊曼還公開威脅,中國將中斷中國城市和布拉格的直航和切斷布拉格斯拉維亞足球俱樂部(Slavia Praha)的金援。

Interestingly, China’s retaliation proved counterproductive. After having been forced out of the meeting at the Czech trade and industry ministry, [Taiwan’s] representative Wang Chung-I was interviewed by a big newspaper, thus greatly improving Taiwan’s visibility. And cultural minister Lubomir Zaoralek has rarely met with China’s ambassador to the Czech Republic, criticizing China’s unilateral cancellation of Czech ensembles’ performances which had “seriously harmed China’s image”.

有趣的是,中國的報復反而造成反效果。駐捷克代表汪忠一被迫離席後,立刻接受大報專訪,大幅提升台灣能見度。文化部長左拉列克(Lubomir Zaoralek)罕見接見中國駐捷克大使,批評中國片面取消樂團演出「嚴重傷害中國形象」。

[…]

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Related

Interview with mayor Hřib, Radio Prague, Aug 16, 2019

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