Czech Speaker accused of taking perks after visiting Taiwan, Taiwan’s foreign ministry refutes Chinese united front malicious speculation

Czech online media outlet Aktuálně reported on Wednesday (November 11) that it had received allegations from a Swiss consulting firm against Czech Senate President Vitezi that he accepted $4 million in benefits from Taiwan’s Foreign Ministry before leading a delegation to Taiwan in late August.

Vittsi arrived in Taiwan on August 30 for a five-day visit at the head of an 89-member delegation. The visit drew worldwide attention due to strong Chinese opposition. China accused the Czech Republic of “violating China’s sovereignty by anti-China forces” and “grossly interfering in China’s internal affairs,” and expressed strong condemnation and serious concern over such “abominable acts. Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi condemned the visit to Taiwan as an “open provocation” and warned that “those who challenge the one-China principle will pay a heavy price”.

The Swiss consulting firm also alleged that the $4 million in benefits would also be used to sponsor Vitezzi’s participation in the Czech presidential election, which is expected to be held in 2023.

According to Taiwan’s Central News Agency, an investigation by Czech media outlet Current confirmed that the Swiss consulting firm has links to groups such as the Chinese Association of Hometown Citizens, the Chamber of Commerce, and the Association for the Promotion of Peaceful Unification. The Chinese Association of Hometown Citizens, the Chamber of Commerce, and the Association for the Promotion of Peaceful Reunification are believed to be groups affiliated with China’s United Front Work Ministry.

Taiwan’s Foreign Ministry condemned China’s allegations that Taiwan paid a bribe to the Czech Senate president. The Chinese Communist Party’s influence manipulation and “wolf diplomacy”-style malicious speculation through the United Front groups have caused widespread concern in the European community, and outsiders should not be deceived, Taiwan’s Foreign Ministry said Thursday.

Taiwan’s Foreign Ministry stressed that Taiwan and the Czech Republic are partners with similar philosophies. The Czech Senate held its first meeting after the re-election on Nov. 11, and Vitezzi won 73 out of 77 votes to be re-elected as speaker. Taiwan’s foreign ministry said the re-election of Mr. Vittić once again demonstrated the strength and resilience of Czech democracy.

U.S. Deputy National Security Adviser Matthew Pottinger, speaking in Chinese on Oct. 23, reminded democracies that the Communist Party’s united front campaign is quietly unfolding around the world and is changing Western minds and Western democratic systems in subtle ways.