Taiwan denounces China's 'vulgar threats' towards Czech speaker

TAIPEI, Sept 3- China’s “vulgar threats” over a visit by the Czech Republic’s senate speaker to Taiwan are like a cold, unwelcome winter wind and contrast with the courteous words the speaker offered while in Taiwan, a senior Taiwanese politician said on Thursday. China, which claims Taiwan as its sovereign territory, has condemned Czech Senate speaker Milos…

TAIPEI, Sept 3 (Reuters) – China’s “vulgar threats” over a

visit by the Czech Republic’s senate speaker to Taiwan are like

a cold, unwelcome winter wind and contrast with the courteous

words the speaker offered while in Taiwan, a senior Taiwanese

politician said on Thursday.

China, which claims Taiwan as its sovereign territory, hascondemned Czech Senate speaker Milos Vystrcil for going. TheChinese government’s top diplomat Wang Yi said this week hewould pay a “heavy price” for visiting the democratic island.

Vystrcil declared himself to be Taiwanese in a speech atTaiwan’s parliament on Tuesday, channelling the late U.S.President John F. Kennedy’s defiance of communism in Berlin in1963, further angering Beijing but winning plaudits inTaipei.

Speaking with Vystrcil by his side Taipei, Taiwan parliamentSpeaker You Si-kun praised his “stirring” speech at thelegislature.

Vystrcil “was gentle and elegant, a paragon of a culturedcountry, like spring sunshine, splendid and warn – Taiwan’speople were deeply moved”, You said.

“Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi’s vulgar threats howeverwere like a cold, unwelcome winter wind that cause discomfort.”

Vystrcil said he had invited You to lead a delegation toPrague for what he termed a “working visit”, and dismissedChina’s criticisms.

“Of course I don’t like the statements, but I do not feel Ihave crossed a red line whatsoever, as I don’t think we didanything that was an infringement of the ‘one China’ policy asthe Czech Republic has it within its foreign policy,” he said,speaking through an interpreter.

“As I have always said, democratic and free countries shouldalways cooperate. There’s nothing to be changed on thatapproach.”

The Czech Republic, like most countries, has no formaldiplomatic ties with Taiwan. China demands countries it hasrelations with accept that Taiwan belongs to “one China”.

Taiwan has shown no interest in being run by autocraticChina.(Reporting by Ben Blanchard; Editing by Jacqueline Wong)