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Prague mayor: city will sign sister pact with Taipei in January

2019-12-04  English News
Photo courtesy of CNA
Photo courtesy of CNA
Berlin, Dec. 2 (CNA) Prague Mayor Zdenek Hrib announced Monday that he will sign an agreement with Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je to forge sisterhood ties between the two cities in January, when Ko is set to visit the Czech Republic capital, according to Czech news agency CTK.

After the cancellation of a sister city pact with Beijing, Hrib said that Prague and Taipei will officially establish sisterhood ties during Ko's visit.

In October, Prague terminated its sister city agreement with Beijing due to a dispute over the removal of China's "one China" policy clause from their agreement.

Hrib said that Prague will send students to Taipei to learn Chinese and about Taiwan's experience in the digitalization of healthcare, as well as the development of metro systems.

He also revealed that Prague Zoo is expected to be gifted a pangolin as a gift from Taiwan.

The draft agreement, which describes Taipei as "the city of Taipei, Taiwan," has been stalled in the Taipei City Council since early November, as the city government and the city council have been at odds on using "Taiwan" in the accord.

The city government continues to insist on using "Taiwan" in the accord as suggested by the Czech Republic's foreign ministry, while some councilors, mostly from Taiwan's opposition Kuomintang (KMT), would prefer "Republic of China" -- the country's official title -- in place of "Taiwan," city government spokesman Tom Chou said Nov. 15.

Chou noted that it would not be the first time for the name "Taiwan" to be used in an agreement signed by the city government with a foreign counterpart.

"Taiwan" has been used in previous agreements established between Taipei and Penang in Malaysia, Manila in the Philippines, Houston and Los Angeles in the United States and Helsinki in Finland, when the city was governed by the KMT, he noted.