Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen held talks with visiting Czech Senate President Milos Vystrcil at her office in Taipei on Thursday, in a meeting likely to draw fresh ire from Beijing which has objected to the trip.
Tsai, in her remarks, pledged to defend democracy and freedom together with the Czech Republic, stressing that the self-ruled island and the European country share fundamental values.
"Taiwan and the Czech Republic won democracy and freedom by opposing authoritarianism," she said.
The Taiwanese leader also signaled readiness to strengthen Taiwan-Czech cooperation in the fields of the economy, trade, responses to the coronavirus pandemic, and science and culture.
Vystrcil has since Sunday been on an official visit to Taiwan, with which the Czech Republic has no formal ties. China, which regards Taiwan as a renegade province, condemned him after he delivered a speech at Taiwan's legislature on Tuesday.
During the talks, Tsai indicated that Taiwan has won support from the international community by containing the coronavirus outbreak on the island.
She called on the Czech Republic to continue contributing to the international community while not giving in to "pressure," a veiled reference to Chinese influence peddling.
Vystrcil received from Tsai a medal bestowed upon his predecessor, Jaroslav Kubera, for his contribution to the building of friendly ties between Taiwan and the Czech Republic. The former Senate president died in January having planned a trip to the island.
Kubera "was a great democrat," Vystrcil said, thanking Taiwan for honoring his predecessor.
The day's talks are likely to draw an intensified Chinese reaction.
After Vystrcil's Tuesday speech, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said there is only one China and that he "has openly broken international consensus and breached the one-China principle, which the Czech government has promised to uphold."
She added that Beijing will "take necessary actions to safeguard its legitimate interests."
Vystrcil, who is leading an 89-member delegation for a six-day visit through Friday, is the highest-level Czech politician to visit Taiwan to date. His visit is at the invitation of Legislative Speaker You Si-kun.