On Monday, the President’s Chancellor, Vratislav Mynář, told the Chinese ambassador to the Czech Republic that Miloš Zeman would not invite you to a meeting of top constitutional officials on his way to Taiwan. Did you expect something like this to come?
Mr. Mynár’s meeting with the Chinese ambassador only confirms that the connection between the Office of the President of the Republic and the Chinese embassy not only exists, but is probably also relatively close. The decision not to attend meetings held by the President is his right. If I don’t have an invitation, then, of course, a decent person doesn’t go anywhere.
Didn’t you think to consult the matter directly with the Castle?
No. I assume that the President has changed his mind, although I personally do not understand his decision, because if the meetings were for the purpose of coordinating foreign policy, then it is probably not entirely appropriate for you to exclude those who have a different opinion from coordination. If you want to talk about it only with those who have the same opinion, then the question is whether it has any logic. So it doesn’t seem entirely logical to me, but it’s the right of the president, and I respect that.
And as for Prime Minister Andrej Babiš (YES), who also opposed your path, did you not talk about it here either? Serious communication?
We didn’t talk about it. But I assume that if something needs to be consulted with the government, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, or with President Vondráček (Radek Vondráček is the Speaker of the Chamber of Deputies for YES – editor’s note), so consultations will normally take place. If the President is interested in having fun, I will have fun with him. But I respect that he is not interested in having fun now.
Let’s go back to the journey itself. What do you consider the three most important things she has brought?
Firstly, we have managed to establish very good economic relations and strengthen scientific research cooperation in the field of innovation. Thanks to that, we have brought huge potential for the Czech Republic. If we could now turn contacts into real investments, it could bring huge benefits to the Czech Republic. And so does Taiwan.
The second thing is that I feel from people’s reactions that we have managed to straighten our backs and prove that the Czech Republic is an independent country. And let’s say to restore pride to the citizens.
And thirdly, I am glad that, as a democratic country, we are working with another democratic country to strengthen the common values that we recognize and on which we are based.
You are talking about positive reactions from the general public. Did you notice any negatives? Aren’t you scared?
Of course you came too. And it’s not that I’m not afraid or worried. Every time you do something controversial, people are worried. I wouldn’t be human otherwise if I didn’t have them. On the other hand, we are here to overcome them. Courage is about overcoming fears and anxieties, not being afraid and doing something.
And I thought I would have to be ashamed of myself if I suddenly backed down. And after telling people in politics for twenty-five years that I would defend freedom and democracy, the moment I have the opportunity to prove it by some act, I would say that we leave it to others. That’s not possible.