The mayor of Prague, Zdenek Hrib, has warned Western societies to be aware of the Chinese Communist Party’s influence across the globe.
Last month, the capital of the Czech Republic broke off its relationship with Beijing and agreed to sign a sister city deal with Taiwan’s capital, Taipei, which has been separately ruled since the Chinese civil war of the 1940s. China insists that it should unite with Taiwan, by use of force if needed.
The mayor accused Beijing for attempting to impose an “unitarian worldview” on democratic societies by treating politicians, artists, or business people as representatives of the state. He also declared China to be “an unreliable business partner” that would breach deals made with other countries for its political ambitions.
As a response, the Chinese government called off the Prague Philharmonic’s concert tour of China.
The mayor said that he did not ask the international community to stop collaborating with China, but instead, encourages “our friends around the world to think twice and be cautious before getting into bed with such an unreliable and potentially risky counterpart”.
He added, however, that countries sharing similar values should not surrender to Beijing for fear of blackmail and threats.