Maintaining values crucial, Czech Senate leader says

Source: Taipei Times / / By Staff writer, with CNA /

Czech Senate President Milos Vystrcil said his upcoming visit to Taiwan would reflect his belief in the importance of values, not only in foreign policy, but as a condition for achieving economic prosperity.

Vystrcil’s delegation, which is to include about 90 senators, business leaders and scientists, is to arrive on Aug. 30 and depart on Sept. 4 to promote stronger economic and technological ties.

Vystrcil spoke of his expectations for the trip during an interview last week with the Central News Agency.

All members of the delegation would undergo a 14-day quarantine before leaving for Taiwan, and would also have to test negative for COVID-19 twice, he said.

The representatives of more than 40 Czech enterprises and other members of the delegation planned to discuss collaboration on research into nanofabrics, artificial intelligence and modern waste processing technologies, he said.

He said he also expects to hold broader discussions on social topics, democracy and freedom — values which he sees as constituting “the cornerstone of prosperity.”

“Taiwan is a clear example of this,” he said, adding that its transition to democracy went hand-in-hand with its economic rise.

Vystrcil said he had faced pressure from some other Czechs, including Czech President Milos Zeman, who has prioritized the financial benefits of maintaining strong relations with China.

“My view is that if we focus on money, we will lose our values and the money, too,” he said.

“I am convinced that a condition for achieving economic prosperity is keeping our values,” he said, citing former Czech president Vaclav Havel.

The planned trip won the support of 50 out of 52 senators present for a vote in May, he said.

This support reflected the duty of a national legislature to “extend” itself into areas in which a nation’s foreign policy showed a “deficit,” he said.