PRAGUE (AP) — The speaker of the lower house of the Czech parliament is due to visit Taiwan to strengthen mutual ties, a step that has angered China.
Marketa Pekarova Adamova said on Monday that she will lead a large delegation on the March 25-30 trip that will focus on business, trade, research, education, culture and other relations.
She will be accompanied by around 150 people, including representatives of around 100 Czech companies as well as academics, legislators and others.
The Czech Republic, like most countries, does not have formal diplomatic relations with Taiwan, but it maintains strong informal contacts. High-tech companies from Taiwan are also important investors in the Czech Republic.
Pekarova Adamova said she will meet with the island’s leaders, including Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen and the prime minister, and address parliament.
She said China warned against the trip.
In recent years, China has stepped up its threat to bring Taiwan under its control, by force if necessary, prompting further tank and missile sales to the island by key US ally and government action. Tsai administration to extend compulsory military service and strengthen the national defense industry.
The Chinese government recently condemned a phone call between newly elected Czech President Petr Pavel and Tsai. A representative from Pavel’s office will also fly to Taipei.
Taiwan split from mainland China amid a civil war in 1949, but Beijing considers the self-governing island part of its territory.
The Czech government recognizes the one-China principle.