U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in Prague called upon the young democracies of Central and Eastern Europe to embrace their hard-won freedoms as they face threats from Russia and China.
He told lawmakers at the Czech Senate on Wednesday that they are right to resist Chinese attempts to assert economic and political leverage over them for supporting Taiwan, noting several recent examples.
Pompeo said that Russia threatens Czechias democracy and security through disinformation campaigns and cyberattacks. “Its even trying to rewrite your history,” he added.
However, the threat “posed by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) and its campaigns of coercion and control” is greater, Pompeo said.
In the Czechia, formerly known as the Czech Republic, the CCP influences politicians and security forces, steals Czech “industrial data created through innovation and creativity,” and stifles freedom, Pompeo said.
After Prague, the Czech Republics capital, ended its sister city relationship with Beijing because of pressure by the CCP to add a “one China” provision to the partnership agreement one year ago, it established a sister city partnership with Taipei, reported Taiwan News.
In retaliation, the Chinese regime canceled a Prague philharmonias trip to Beijing, and Shanghai canceled its cooperation with Prague, Pompeo noted.
Beijing considers Taiwan a province of China with no right to state-to-state relations.
Pompeo also quoted the letter sent by the Chinese embassy in Prague to former Czech Senate speaker Jaroslav Kubera, which threatened that “Czech enterprises with economic interests in China will have to pay” if Kubera visited Taiwan.
In June, Milos Vystrcil, the speaker of the Czech Senate, officially announced his plans to travel to Taiwan with a trade mission at the end of August, despite strong opposition from Chinese communist officials and some Czech leaders.
Vistrcil will be the highest-level Czech politician to have ever visited Taiwan, according to Taiwan News.
Pompeo said that the Senate speaker will make that trip to Taiwan as he planned “fulfilling the wishes of his late predecessor.”
And on Aug. 11, Prague Mayor Zdeněk Hřib announced on Facebook that he would join Vystricil to visit Taiwan.
Countering the CCP Threat
“The [Chinese] regime has a Marxist-Leninist core no less than the Soviet Union did, and indeed, perhaps more so,” Pompeo said.
“Whats happening now isnt Cold War 2.0. The challenge of resisting the CCP threat is in some ways much more difficult. Thats because the CCP is already enmeshed in our economies, in our politics, in our societies in ways the Soviet Union never was. And Beijing is not likely to change course in the near future,” said Pompeo.
Pompeo noted that Europe has started to recognize the CCP threat, adding that “there are plenty of European leaders eager to lean into freedom.” He assured Czechs that the United States will support the Czech Republic on its quest for freedom.
“And remember too that today, tomorrow, and forever, America will be with you as we champion those precious human rights and freedoms,” he said.
Expanding American-Czech Economic Cooperation
Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babis said on Wednesday that both countries can also cooperate in science and development as Czech scientists have world-class achievements in various fields of research.
For example, Martin Tolar, CEO of Massachusetts-based Alzheon, is one of the pioneers in researching drugs to cure Alzheimers disease, Babis said at a joint press conference after meeting with Pompeo.
Babis criticized China for not investing the way the European country had expected. Trade with China is unbalanced and the Czech Republic needs to examine why its not successful enough, he said.
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