China slammed Czech President-elect Petr Pavel on Tuesday after his phone call the previous day with the president and Taiwan’s foreign minister.
China claims Taiwan as an integral part of its territory and tries to keep Taipei isolated on the world stage.
“Mr. Pavel (…) trampled China’s red line,” said Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Mao Ning.
“It seriously interferes in China’s internal affairs and has hurt the feelings of the Chinese people,” she added.
Beijing urged Prague to “take effective measures immediately to eliminate the negative impact of this incident and prevent China-Czech relations from suffering irreparable damage,” Mao said.
Mr. Pavel, who won the presidential election on Saturday, will replace incumbent President Milos Zeman, pro-Chinese, on March 9.
Earlier this month, Mr Zeman had a 45-minute video call with Chinese President Xi Jinping, whom he calls his friend, hailing the “friendly relations” between the two countries.
Mr Pavel, meanwhile, spoke with Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen who congratulated him on his victory over populist billionaire Andrej Babis.
“I thanked her for her congratulations and assured that Taiwan and the Czech Republic share the (same) values of freedom, democracy and human rights,” Pavel said in a tweet.
“We agreed to strengthen our partnership,” added the former general, who had chaired NATO’s military committee.
He also “expressed the hope of having an opportunity to meet President Tsai in person.”
The Taiwanese presidency said the call, which was also joined by Taiwanese Foreign Minister Joseph Wu, lasted nearly 15 minutes.
“The Head of State (…) acknowledged that President-elect Pavel continues the spirit of former Czech President (Vaclav) Havel, who respected democracy, freedom and human rights, foundations of the republic, and shares the same ideas as Taiwan,” Ms. Tsai’s office said in a statement.
Vaclav Havel was the first president of the Czech Republic, from 1993 to 2003.
Mao said Beijing urged Prague to “scrupulously adhere to its political commitment to the one China principle” observed by the European Union.
In a radio interview on Sunday, Pavel said the one-China policy should be complemented by a principle of “two systems” policies.
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