By: Aaron Rhoes & Jianli Yang

September 16, 2020

Individual acts of moral and civic courage, whether on the local or international level, are indispensable to the struggle against tyranny. Today, democratic Taiwan faces such a struggle, as mainland China threatens to subvert its freedom as it did in Hong Kong or even launch a military assault. Earlier this month, president of the Czech senate Milos Vystrcil stood up to the Chinese Communist Party’s threats by visiting Taiwan with a 90-member delegation. Voicing solidarity with the Taiwanese people, Vystrcil drew upon the tradition of moral dissent that inspired Charter 77, when Czech dissidents like Jan Patocka and Václav Havel initiated public acts of moral defiance in the face of communist oppression.

The Global Times, a Chinese nationalist tabloid, accused Vystrcil of being a “rule-breaker”-a label he should proudly embrace. China threatened economic revenge, canceling a 5 million Czech Crown (188,000 Euro) deal with piano manufacturer Petrof. Another Czech politician, European Parliament member Tomás Zdechovský, stepped up and arranged for the pianos to be purchased by a Czech billionaire and donated to public schools.[Continue Reading…]

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