The Czech Republic’s new president broke a diplomatic taboo from China by holding a phone call with Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen and became the first elected European head of state to speak with the island’s leader directly.
China’s foreign ministry condemned Czech President-elect Petr Pavel by saying he ignored Beijing’s repeated attempts “to dissuade him.”
Leaders of the European Union don’t usually deal with Taiwanese authorities head on.
They often limit official exchanges to civil servants and keep dialogue under the radar.
But Taiwan has been getting more international attention lately, due to escalating military threats from China.
Beijing claims the self-ruled island as its own and has vowed to take it over—by force if necessary.
The call signaled a diplomatic breakthrough for Taiwan, which has no formal relations with the Czech Republic.